The Christmas Ornament Miracle

The Christmas Dove Settle back for a few minutes because I want to tell you a story of Christmas and miracles.

This is a true story and one which has warmed my heart every year when I decorate my Christmas tree.  It took place at my home, the year my 16 year old son died.

We had a house fire just after Christmas the year Bryan was born 16 years before.  Because we had lost everything we began a new tradition the following year.  Each of the children was given a gift to open when we decorated the tree.   It was a tree ornament.  The ideas was that when they left home as adults they would each have a collection to take to their own tree.

Soon the children began giving me an ornament as well.  At first it was things they had made at school.  I still have the remnants of a two paper chains and a lovely hand made, stained glass piece.  When they got a little older they started going out together to buy something special for me.

It was another tradition to decorate the tree on Bryan’s birthday which is December 12.  We would make an adventure of it and go to a tree farm and cut a tree to bring home and decorate.

Bryan died in October of 2000 but we decided the tradition would not die with him.  We would keep it to honour him.  So two months after we buried Bryan we celebrated his birthday together.  We had some family for dinner and a few of Bryan’s friends joined us to help decorate.  They knew how important it was for us but they also knew it would be hard without him.

It was a nice evening of sweet memories but then came time to share our gifts.  The girls were pleased with theirs.  I had bought one for Bryan months before so we put it on the tree too.

The girls were very sad though because they could not bring themselves to get an ornament for me.  They were explaining this to me with tears in their eyes when a knock came to the door.

The woman at the door was someone I didn’t know very well.  She attended my church and lived down the road but we were not close.  She apologized for interrupting our gathering but said she had something she felt she had to give me.  For a reason she didn’t understand she knew she had to give it to me that night.  She hesitated to say, but she believed it was a gift from Bryan.

When she was decorating her tree she came across an ornament her grandmother had given to her years before.  She didn’t understand why but she knew at that moment the little dove which had adorned her tree was to be given to me as a gift from Bryan.

So at the very moment of our sadness God brought light and life to back to our tree.  It is placed there every year still in memory of the great gifts that God gives to us, even in our pain.

I hope you believe in miracles.


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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One Response to The Christmas Ornament Miracle

  1. What a wonderful story and tradition. I just heard yesterday that birds on a tree bring good luck. The dove was from Bryan to wish you all good luck.

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