Did you hang any 2020 ornaments this year? Some people decorate their tree with trinkets that commemorate the years milestones. They are my favourite trees to see in homes. It’s like a time capsule exploded among the evergreen boughs. If you’re the sentimental type you probably have a special keepsake for “First Christmas in a new home,” or “Baby’s First Christmas” or “The year we got a pet.” This past week celebrity actress Jennifer Aniston was criticized after posting a different kind of “First” ornament. It was a simple wood disc with the engraved words “2020 – our first pandemic.” Apparently some people found the celebratory tone quite insensitive to the havoc and hardship Covid19 caused. Rather than being dismissive of reality, I think these kinds of tokens mark the courage it took to make it through this past year and the resilience to not lose our sense of humor in the process. I confess I was suckered into a similar purchase. I saw this ad for a “silver linings” ornament that captured all the key phrases specific to 2020 and fell for the bulk discount offer. But what was delivered was not what was as advertised. They had simply printed an image of the superior product used in their marketing images and I found over a dozen spelling errors in the text-laden design. I made several attempts to request a return and refund with the defects documented according to their website’s policy but was refused. Rather than waste my energy fighting this fraud further, I came to accept I was in possession of the perfect token of a year which cheated us of so many hopes. However I remained too embarrassed to gift them to the “front line heroes” when it is mis-spelled as “tround the heroes.” So I shared my snafu with my neighbourhood Buy-Nothing Facebook group and offered up the botched souvenirs of 2020. I had to silence my notifications because of all the reaction pings that followed. “This was the laugh I needed today” was among many thankful notes in response to my story. With every distanced delivery I made were warm conversations full of chuckles, camaraderie and cheer. The purchase ended up being one of my best investments of the season. That evening in our prayer group we reflected on Psalm 30:11. God does indeed lift our sorrows and restores our joy. Mourn for the night but get your dancing shoes out, the morning is dawning.
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