3 Sleighs for Christmas - A Dose of Encouragement


Our Christmas Tree was too big.

Well too wide to be precise.

We had bought it about 7 years ago when we lived in Belgium and had more space to have a tall and wide tree.

We really liked it because it was easy to assemble and was prelighted so no fiddling and fighting with strings of lights.  The most time would be spent actually putting the decorations on the tree.

But now in our present home we had struggled with not really having enough room for this tree definitely in our lounge but also not really having the proper space for it in our large kitchen with seated area.

Last year we thought too late about trying to find a new slimmer tree but this year on Saturday we decided to go ahead when we saw a slimmer tree very similar in style to our other one.  In fact this one was going to be slim enough so that we could put it up in the lounge now that we had the smaller suite.

Last week when I wrote the Wednesday Encouragement post I was disappointed that we hadn't got our tree up yet in the kitchen because we were waiting for the painting to be done and I couldn't start writing about our Tree Decorations as I had hoped but today I can.

So I want to start with the 3 sleighs

On the tree each year since Christmas 1993 we have had these three sleighs.

They are almost identical except for one thing.
They each have the name of one of our children on them.

Fred & I hung them on the tree last night.

As per always my thoughts went back to when I got them.

We were living in the US in Hockessin, a village outside Wilmington in the State of Delaware.

That was where I was introduced to Christmas fairs and Christmas shops and Personalised Christmas Tree Decorations.

I saw the sleighs and remembered the fun our three kids (plus Fred & I) had had in March that year when we had woken up to find 14 inches of Snow at our front door.

After shovelling the driveway a few times and playing around and then in for hot drinks we joined our next door neighbours to race down through our back gardens.

What fun, what laughter, what coldness, but what enjoyment from a simple act.

We really didn't want to stop because we were enjoying this unusual activity.
It was very unusual for us because we had come from Northern Ireland where we rarely see 4 inches of snow let alone 14 and rarely get the chance to even try to slide down a snow slope.

Eventually we had to drag ourselves and the kids inside as it started to get dark and we were concerned about frostbite from those round red patches appearing on our cheeks.

So here we are again at another Christmas with the memories from 21 years ago.

I remember getting these tree decorations at a craft fair a month before Christmas and surprising the children with their special named sleigh for each of them to hang on the tree as the last decorations that year.

Do the children remember that event as distinctly as I do?

I don't think so but they do remember hanging them on the tree for years.

A lot of our tree decorations are individual things we have picked up over the years and not colour co-ordinated to be extremely fashionable and make a glamorous tree.  I want to have memories of happy times together as a family or remember friends who may have given us something for our tree.

I want to be able to look at my tree and say thank you to God for the lovely memories and the family and friends that he has put into our lives.

My tree will not be perfect but why should it because nothing can be perfect and in striving for my tree to be perfect I would miss out on remembering the memories and blessings of the past.

There is nothing or no-one perfect in this world except for God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

So as I remember my imperfect tree and it's decorations I am going to be thankful to God for my 3 children this Christmas and my husband and all the memories and blessings we have seen together as a family.

Then I will pray for the future members of this family and the future memories to come and the future blessings God will bestow on us all because He loves us even though we are not perfect but just trusting in Him.

What will your tree be like and will you remember your blessings?

These are the things that mean a lot to families at Christmas especially when not all of the family can be together.

This year like last year Linda will not be with us over Christmas time, she will still be in South Korea but her sleigh was put up last night and the boy's sleighs were also put up by Fred and I because they are not here for the decorating of the tree any more.

Even though they have their names on them I believe they are more my special item than theirs because I was the one that chose them,


they are staying on my tree, not going with them!

They can wait until they inherit them.


  1. Sandra,

    This is such a special post and I agree about decoration on the tree. I have gold, but I will not give up my snowmens. They are on my Christmas tree and I will not give them up. The tree is lovely and beautiful. The way I love it.

  2. Awww, I loved this! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  3. Such sweet memories. I just love these kind of stories. Thank you for sharing!

  4. such a sweet memory... I always love going to my parents' house for Christmas and seeing all of our sentimental ornaments

  5. A lovely memory! I'm sure the little sleighs are special to your children. I guess most every family has special ornaments -- but when the kids start asking for 'theirs' it's hard to let go! My adult children have chosen certain ornaments to take with them, and others that will be theirs when I decide! I'd have a hard time letting go of each of their first Christmas ornaments!

  6. Anonymous15:39

    Your memory made me smile. I bet your kids remember it well!

  7. Anonymous22:51

    I love your memories and I have some of those same kind of personalized ornaments that are special to me but maybe not as much for my sons. My Christmas blessings are not my tree or other decorations but the time spent with family and the love that we share. Blessed you joined us at The Weekend Brew.

  8. Beautiful memory, indeed, that no tree can compete with. Reading this brought me back to memories of my family sledding together (it was semi rare for us, too), of staying out as late as we could before cold sank into our bones, of our tradition through childhood of getting a new ornament each year. I have many of these ornaments now on my husband and I's tree, and while it's hard to access the specific memory for each, the feeling is one of warmth.

  9. My tree has M&M lights because when the kids were young they were gifted to us (along with a whole tree and gifts- it was a lovely blessing) but now I am stuck with M&M lights because the kids love them. They have nothing to do with the Reason for the Season, but are still a huge part of our traditions. I loved reading your story about the sleighs...

  10. We have a large tree also that we now keep in it's box. I purchased a small pre-lit tree last year to sit on a stand in a room that houses our TV. In another area we have a really tiny tree, with red and green lights and garlands. Your sleds are adorable. Thanks for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

  11. What a sweet memory of a specific event that you get to carry around with you--no matter where you move! This will be our second year without a tree--I kind of miss it, but I'm making due with hanging a few ornaments here and there. There's something about not having little ones at home any more that makes it easier to not put up a tree! We get to share my daughter and son-in-law's tree instead ;).

  12. The ornaments for my tree are all individual and each hold very special memories.. We've always told the kids they could have them when they started their own homes, but as that day approaches way too rapidly for this mother's heart, I'm starting to regret that promise. Decorating our tree is a walk down memory lane, like you shared here, and I treasure that. What a blessing!

  13. I love the memories ornaments and traditions bring back. Thanks for sharing at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  14. Oh, I enjoyed reading this so much Sandra. You made me cry thinking back over Christmas memories.

  15. Thanks for sharing, how sweet #Pinworthywednesday

  16. I live that you have kept your children's decorations even though they have grown, just as a reminder of that special memory. With my children reaching their teens I'm conscious of the fact that their time here at home is starting to run out so I have started something similar. Decorating the tree definitely is a time of remembering as well as giving thanks for what God has done in our lives. Xx

  17. Lovely! Our tree is like that--not color-coordinated, but a hodgepodge of special memories.

  18. Such a sweet and tender story - I am glad you have the three sleighs and that you continue to put them up and treasure the memory of such fun times from the past. I also appreciate the encouragement not to strive for the magazine perfect tree - rather have ornaments that remind you of joy-filled times.