I hate putting up Christmas tree ornaments. Hate it. Especially now that I’m in college, it isn’t like it used to be. No, now ornaments are a chore. Therefore, as I grudgingly dragged my slippered feet downstairs this evening to retrieve my box of ornaments, I was not doing so out of my inbred need to listen to my father (he has already reminded me I needed to decorate the tree 3 times), but rather because I have been sitting all day and decided I should probably get off the couch before my skin began to attach itself to the upholstery.
I plopped down under my plastic tree and took the lid off the large box. Knowing beforehand exactly every ornament I wanted to put on the tree, I wasn’t shocked or forced into a nostalgic fit of “Awwww”s by discovering forgotten memories from my childhood. Instead, I was transferred back only a year ago to a day extremely similar to this one. There I was, being forced yet again to put up some decorations. My task done and my plans of burrowing into the couch to continue reading my novel awaiting me, I headed into the family room away from the tree. Alas, as I heard my mother look at my ornament choices (yes, I heard her. She was very vocal about my omissions), I returned back to the living room to suffer her judgment.
“Awww, you’re not going to put up all the ornaments with your pictures on them?”
“Mom, they’re falling apart. And as beautiful as I am, I don’t think we need 15 Lisa’s staring back at us all break.”
“But I love that one!” She said snatching up a personal favorite (and a personal least favorite of mine).
“Fine, I’ll put them all up, too,” I conceded, promising myself they would just sit on the back of the tree in some spot closest to the trunk where no one would have cause to look. My good deed was done for the day: she was mollified and I could stick them on the tree and get back to my story without worrying about anything.
Moments like that gem are not few and far between; but rather, they are constant and sure. We know exactly when to expect them and accept them when they come. However, how often is it that we really love them? Love every moment granted to us? I forgot that even happened until I saw my 5th grade snowflake staring back at me and now I’m close to tears remembering that simple exchange. Obviously, I wasn’t aware how that would impact me in the future.
In order to live our lives to the fullest, we must love all the little things those moments grant to us. Even putting up those blasted Christmas ornaments is now something I recognize as something valuable. I understand stopping to smell every rose is difficult for the average person. Not everyone has a recent death to constantly remind them that life is precious. But you shouldn’t NEED that. On some level, you should just recognize every DAY what a wonderful, fabulous world this is—and that YOU are part of it (and therefore, just as fabulous). Look around you, and know that this is what you have been given. And you are loved. So love all in return. Love all the moments that create what you are, what you have been, and what you will be.
Lisa Bachmann is a senior History major from St. Louis. As a member of the Xavier University Singers, she loves to sing and dance-her facial expressions often make her a standout-star. Lisa is full of laughter and fun, which is often fueled by her housemates, the ladies of the Dollhouse.