The ‘J’ lives on

Niece Sabrina, hanging the J ornament on her tree this year.

The ‘J’ lives on.

Let me tell you about the J.

Every Christmas season, the J makes an appearance. I get a text from my sister Becky, with a photo such as the one above.

“The famous J is up,” my sister Becky reported this year.

The J is like a hook – a swoop in the alphabet. You could maybe catch a fish with a J. Or like a sturdy shepherd’s crook, yank a wandering sheep.

It turns out, as the first letter of my name, the J also makes a fine Christmas ornament.

A paper-thin existence

No one but I made the J, and it was neither in a classroom nor according to a children’s craft activity.

Just construction paper, glue and a little gold glitter in my bedroom, and my heart. A pipe cleaner to hook the J right side up.

I don’t remember what happened next, but it must have made its way onto the family Christmas tree.

Paper-thin, the history of the J should have ended shortly thereafter.

Pine needles fell week by week; Christmas came and went.

Time to pull down the Christmas ornaments and nestle them in their respective shoeboxes. Descend the stairs and place them onto shelves designed for canned produce.

Thrust the naked tree into the cold and await the mean garbage haul.

Christmas: entirely consumed and done.

Wait. Mom spied something in the dense needles, weathering the stiff breeze. A glint of glitter and there was the J, clinging.

Rescued, cherished

Yet this wasn’t the only time the J would survive – endure?

Years later I would question the value of the J ornament. According to my sister Becky:

Later you were going to toss it out in one of your purges. I rescued it…because I loved how Mom had originally spared it. I knew it needed to live on. It reminds me how the Lord goes to incredible lengths and the most unexpected ways to save us and enjoy us. Fragile and simple though we are.

-a text as we were reminiscing the other week

Here’s another ornament I made in art class in the first grade and which hangs on my tree this Christmas.

Read The J lives on – part 2

3 responses to “The ‘J’ lives on”

  1. Aw, so wonderful. Thanks for sharing this tradition of documenting the “J” sighting every year. I LOVE everything about this.
    And your 1st grade picture ornament is so precious too.

  2. I’m glad that the J is now immortalized in a story. Such a memory of finding it clinging to the Christmas tree ready to be turned into compost. Then suddenly I had the opportunity to redeem it! I took my chance!


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