There is one ornament in particular from that box that has seen a little hardship over the twelve years. The lovely couple has lost their heads.
I still have those missing heads wrapped in paper in one of our Christmas storage containers. And I still hang our headless ice skaters every year, wondering why I feel compelled to hang a broken ornament.
When I was packing the headless couple away this year, I showed them to Steve. He took one look and said, "It's been a hard year."I giggled, but he was right. It has been. Insomnia for Steve - the complete exhaustion of this pregnancy for me - the extra work of adding on to our home - the boys having a lot of trouble with all our transitions - multiple extra stressors for Steve ... I could go on, but it was just really hard and stressful.
I was thinking this year about my reason for loving that ornament so much. I really think that, to me, it represents our marriage. We made a point in our wedding ceremony of saying the old vows that we didn't think should be considered old-fashioned. "Til death do us part." And we meant them. We know the other person is broken, but we don't turn on them when life is hard. Instead we still go on actively loving them. I'm not going to trade one broken person for another. I'm going to go through life as a team with the one I promised to be a partner to.