Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Life in Ornaments: Matt

Yesterday, I shared my own life in ornaments--a few of the special ornaments that mark certain occasions or periods of life to cherish.

Today: Matt!

Matt was only a month old at his first Christmas in 1980. His Grandma and Grandpa gave him this little bell, inscribed with "1st Christmas 1980," and I thought it was so sweet, we hang it from this special little hanger as its own decoration, rather than on the tree.

Matt's preschool ornament is his face on a jar lid, marked "St. Mark's, 1985" on the back. (I would have featured my own classroom-made preschool ornament yesterday, but it's the one sentimental one I persuaded my mom to keep on her beautiful "brass and glass" tree. It is a bright green, felt circle about 7 inches across, sequins glued on one side with the finesse only a 4-year-old can have, and a cute picture of me on the other.) Matt's is much less gaudy.

Around that same time, Matt's family moved to Denver. They skied a lot in those years, and Matt got this little Santa-on-a-ski-lift ornament. Matt's mom had a tradition of giving the boys an ornament specifically suited to that year's activities and events, which got even more interesting as Matt and his brother got older and started doing more cool things... marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Matt played his tuba (excuse me, sousaphone) through Herald Square in 1995, a very cool claim-to-fame and the focus of his special ornament that year.

In 1999, Matt headed off to Butler University in Indianapolis.

During college, Matt worked three summers for Mountain T.O.P., a missional youth camp where kids serve poor families on the rural and impoverished Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Matt's mom gave him a "manual labor Santa" ornament each year to commemorate those summers. The first year was Santa with a shovel, the second Santa climbing a ladder with a paintbrush, and the third a fireman Santa, recalling a lightning strike and fire at camp that year. Matt says that one takes on new meaning now, after the church fire.

In 2003, Matt graduated Butler, writing his senior honors thesis on premillenialism and the book of Revelation.
Matt returned to his hometown of Nashville to attend Vanderbilt Divinity School, where he met moi, and we fell in love over milkshakes at the local malt shop, hoping our ears wouldn't get in the way. Just kidding. Mickey and Minnie are just metaphorical. The Red Door doesn't serve milkshakes.

We got married in 2006, and Matt has continued to serve in congregational ministry.

Who knows what the next years will bring?
I don't, but I know that tomorrow will bring Kate's life in ornaments! (considerably shorter than ours!)

What is your most memorable childhood handmade ornament?


Lisa H. said...

Jess-you would appreciate this article: Be sure to watch the video, too. It's crazy!

SpeasHill said...

And there's the tuba! Okay, the sousaphone, second-best, but still, happy to see it. :)


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