Friday, December 18, 2015

Great Christmas Tree Tour: Jennifer Slattery

I can’t help but wonder if our neighbors think we have the ba-humbugs. From the outside, it may look that way. A quick glance at our home’s interior might not squelch this idea. But our sparse decorations say nothing about our Christmas spirit. They may, however, say something about our priorities, and this year, elegantly hung lights aren’t high on our list. 

They weren’t high on our list last year, either. At least, they weren’t high on mine, though they did create quite a stir in our home.

It was a Sunday, probably late November, maybe early December. The weather was nasty, a combination between rain and ice. I was enjoying a relaxing morning, and, with my Pandora playing, was just about to jump in the shower to get ready for church when I heard a strange scraping and banging above my head. 

So I stood there, in the center of my bathroom, listening. I couldn’t figure out what in the world was causing that noise, so I called out to my husband. 

No answer. 

I called out to him again. Still no answer. So, donning a large sweatshirt and pants, I set out to find him.

I did, on top of our wet, icy, slick roof, loaded down with a coiled electric cord and mess of tangle lights. 

My heart quite literally stopped, then accelerated. I went berserk, yelling at him to come down but equally terrified at the thought of him stepping back onto the icy, wet, slippery, metal ladder. 

So this year he and my daughter are making a stand-up Grinch out of wood, and that’s where our lights will be—in Mr. Grinch’s hand. Because I’ve come to realize there are some things I value more than a beautifully lit house, and that’s a wonderfully whole husband!

As to our tree, that’s another story, equally long. But suffice it to say, we’re happy with our cute little four footer. On it, we’ve hung the hand-sewn ornament my mother-in-law gave us for our first Christmas, along with the matching ornament she made for our daughter the year she was born. We’ve also hung a glass ornament painted with multi-colored polka dots by our princess, who’s since launched from the nest. 

Beneath the tree, I have a beautiful silver ball given to me by a dear friend who valiantly fought brain cancer and is now dancing with the angels. She gave it to me her last Christmas here, and tucked inside is a note. The most significant sentence: I’ll be waiting for you. 

Praise God the best is yet to come, and isn’t that the true meaning of Christmas?

I could probably tell you of every ornament hanging on our tree—when we received it and who gave it. That’s the beauty of having a small tree; there’s only room to hang the treasures. There’s probably a life analogy in that statement. ;)   

What about you? What special Christmas decorations do you hang every year and what makes them so significant? Share your treasures and the stories behind them with us in the comments below. 

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook at


Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy.

Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?


  1. I love your tree. And your reasons. Merry Christmas.

  2. Wow. What a post. Thank you for sharing. I still have tears in my eyes. I'll be waiting for you. Do we tell people that enough? Do they know that? How many people that we meet know that if we die first we'll be in Heaven waiting for them? Jennifer, what you've shared has changed my perspective. Thank you so much! How powerful. I have decorations the kids made in elementary school, the picture puzzles. Puzzle pieces glued together make a frame for the picture. And the ornament we got the year Tim and I got married for our first Christmas. Jennifer, you are such an inspiration and an encouragement. I am so glad God brought us together!

    1. Hi, Sally,

      I love rereading my friends note again and again, and I love sharing it with others. She was such a legacy-leaver! Right up to the very end, her heart was always for others, especially those who didn't know Christ. I learned a great deal from her.

      Those ornaments sound so precious! Can you post pictures to FB? I'd love to see them!

      And thank you, friend! I agree! I cherish the friendship we've formed. Now to figure out agree way to do coffee, without you having to run here! Haha!

  3. Hi, Liz! Thank you, and Merry Christmas! What are your most treasured Christmas ornaments?