Decorations Can be Emotional Bombs

. at . 15 comments

I found that out when I started sorting all my Christmas decorations. Many had positive emotions connected to them.

  • Like the one my ds made that has lots of eyes glued to it – the LORD is an ever-seeing, ever-present God.

  • My dd rolled a blown brown egg in red, blue and green glitter.

  • Of course, both children made several renditions of Mr. & Mrs. Clause out of Styrofoam balls, felt, and cotton. 

But then there’s the one my dh and I bought on a trip to Hawaii.

  • We also bought one in Belgium and London.

  • The year we had our house built in CO, my dd and I took a 2×4 from the site. We cut it down and painted a Mr. & Mrs. Bunny Claws. Cute. But full of memories that now cause pain.

My first instinct is to throw them all away. I don’t want to have any items around that remind me of my failed marriage. That’s why I wanted a Christmas tree that’s so different from any we had in the past. I wanted new memories. New associations.


But, if I throw these “emotional bomb decorations” away, will I be sorry in 10 years?


What do you advise? I know some of you have gone through similar situations. Please comment and lmk what has or hasn’t worked for you.

Entry filed under: Susan's World, Uncategorized.

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15 Comments Add your own

  • I know this is completely on a different scale, but I regret throwing away some things from a past boyfriend. Initially they caused me pain and I wouldn’t have wanted any other future boyfriend/husband to have known that pain that was caused, but now I think differently. In this case, it was an amicable end to a courtship that we both knew was right to end, and I now wish I could share this with “future husband” because it has affected the person that I am.

    I wonder if you could pack away this ornaments this year and just leave in the cupboard. Maybe you will feel differently next year or maybe you will have been glad not to see them and be glad to get rid of them? Would your children want them?

    Susan, have a lovely Christmas. It’s been fun getting to know you a bit on blogland – love and prayers, a sister in Christ, Keziah x


  • 2. Duker  |  . at .

    I agree with Keziah, Who you are RIGHT NOW is the person you have become due to God’s master plan. You couldn’t be HERE unless you came from THERE. Store them seperatly in a clearly labeled box with something like ( BEFORE DECORATIONS). This will let you know that these were from your life before you became the wonderful, sweet, caring, sensitive, beautiful person you are now !!! Not that you weren’t that before but you are SO MUCH MORE at this stage in your walk !!!! Enjoy the simple joyous pleasure that this holiday brings and make new memories !!! Love you


  • 3. Becky  |  . at .


    What an icky dilemma. I don’t think any of us can tell you what to do with these emotional bombs. I guess the only way I can respond is by thinking through what I would do, and personally, for me, the right decision would be to pitch them. Sounds harsh, but I’m all about a clean slate. To me, that’s what forgiveness is all about — the clean slate. Behold, Jesus makes all things new!!! Would it be possible to throw away the painful ones, keep some of the treasured ones, but decorate with all-new ones??? Maybe start making new memories. Have some special friends and loved ones come make homemade ornaments at your house one day and then just decorate with those?
    I just know that for me, it wouldn’t work to try to keep the painful ornaments. We have a pretty seashell ornament we bought on our honeymoon in Key West — if my marriage to Adam ever failed, I don’t think I could ever put that seashell on a tree ever again. It would just hurt too much and I wouldn’t see the point in making Christmas painful for myself.
    Anyway, my thoughts are with you right now, Susan. You are dear and I don’t like to think about you hurting when you look at your Christmas tree!


  • 4. doodah!  |  . at .

    Wow Susan, this is big. I am in the middle of going through a lot of boxes of paperwork, and have found it to be quite a bittersweet experience. Cards and letters from loved ones, old school papers with instructors comments on them, report cards, bank statements — all these things paint a picture of my life through the years, and some of that picture is very, very dark.

    I decided to discard a lot of stuff that caused me great pain. I actually made it a prayerful process, praying over the item and the person/experience/feelings associated with it. I asked for forgiveness for things I had done wrong, and I asked for grace to forgive the person/experience that hurt me. Then I burned the stuff in my bbq.

    I’m not getting rid of all of it. But I gotta tell ya, it feels good to be free from the weight of all those boxes of sad feelings. God bless you as you wrestle with this.

    “Let us lay aside all that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith.” Heb 12:1


  • 5. lynette  |  . at .

    We all have things in our lives that either causes pain or sweet memories. Whether it be from a broken relationship or death.

    I have things from my mother, which is not the same, but what I do know is only you can make the decision, but you don’t have to make it now. You can give herself permission to put them away as Duker suggested & not make a decision now.

    Am praying for you.


  • 6. Theresa  |  . at .

    I agree with not making a decision now. In the future you may decide to share them with your children, you might want to use them, you might want to toss them, or they may go back in the box to wait longer. There’s no rule that says all the ornaments need to be used. And don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking a failed marriage means a failed you. Keep allowing God to pick up the painful pieces to mold them into a more beautiful you! I know that might sound a little corny or trite, but I think the deeply painful things I have experienced in my life have also brought out or influenced some of my best characteristics. I’d never want to go through them again, but I’m thankful for the change in me. And I think it would be neat to find an ornament for next year that reflects the new you to start new memories.


  • 7. lynette  |  . at .

    Beautifully said.


  • 8. susan  |  . at .

    Thank you for offering your perspective. You are right, our pain does contribute to the person we become. I amy indeed want to share that with someone sometime.

    Yes, I will ask my kiddos if they want any of the decorations. And most likely I will feel differently next year.

    I, too, have enjoyed getting to know you.


  • 9. susan  |  . at .

    I like the idea about clearly labeling the box with the decorations. That way, if and when I look at them again it will be by my choice.

    Your kind words mean a lot to me since you’ve known the “pre” me.

    I did start a new tradition this year. Elizabeth (my 22 y.o. dd) and I went and drove around looking at lights in our jammies on Christmas eve. We were both ill and so couldn’t be around people. We found some AWESOMELY decorated ho,mes in Roseville.


  • 10. susan2009  |  . at .


    Yes, I wanted to pitch them, but thought I’d best to ask my kiddos if they wanted them first.

    I do like the idea of a fresh start – which is why I decorated a white tree. My Grandma used to have a silver one and this tree reminds me of hers. All I need is a color wheel to complete the grandma exoereince.

    Next year I think I will invite some friends around to make ornaments. Great idea.

    SOme of the treasured ones are definitely ones the kiddos made. As for the others it is tought to decide if they belong solely to the painful category. I wonder if time and healing would ever move them to the treasured category. Especially the ones that contain a family story – like the Christmas bunnies made with a 2×4 from the house we had built.

    Thank you for your concern – makes me feel loved.

    This year when I look at my tree I see beuaty and my kiddos (via their ornaments). It is a good experience.


  • 11. susan2009  |  . at .

    Becky and Doodah,
    I so appreciate your comments about forgiveness. Because of Jesus (the reason for the season) forgiveness is an option for me. To recieve and give.

    I see that simply tossing the painful is missing out on an opportunity for healing for myself, my kiddos and ex.

    Doodah, I like your prayerful process procedure. How cool and wise to take those emotionally laden times/people and prayerfully commit them to Christ. Thanks for sharing.


  • 12. susan2009  |  . at .


    Thank you for echoing an obvious (but one I didn’t previously see) solution for me. I can wait to make a decision.

    Thanks so much for your prayers, they have and continue to make a differnce in my life. Thank you sweet friend.


  • 13. susan2009  |  . at .

    Yes, I do sometimes think a failed marriage means a failed me. Which is why the decorations cause pain. I am not able (at this moment) to see the decorationa as part of our story together.

    “I think the deeply painful things I have experienced in my life have also brought out or influenced some of my best characteristics.” I am holding onto that promise from God too. Thanks for the reminder. And deep encouragments.

    I like the new ornament idea. As I look at after Christmas sales I’ll be on the lookout for that. I’ll let you know if something jumps out at me.


  • 14. Theresa  |  . at .

    Oh so good to see you posted tonight. I have been missing you! I have a little something for you so please keep an eye out for me on Sunday. We missed on Christmas Eve because the girls were contagious and couldn’t go to Sunday School. Please pray about seeing yourself in another way, other than “failed”. I love a song from Michelle Pillar, probably about ten or more years back and the words say, “When He sees me, He sees His righteousness. He sees His Holy Spirit filling up my emptiness. And when He looks at me He sees the blood He shed. I know He sees Himself, each time He looks at me.” Oh the wasted hours I have spent dwelling on my failures. I think it’s good to recognize our sins and “call an ace an ace and a spade a spade” and certainly repentance is key, but I think we also need to accept the new person He has made us in His grace. God speaks to me a lot in songs, poems and quotes. I’m not trying to sound corny, just trying to share how He has spoken to me in hopes that it might also be an encouragement to you. Do you know the Gaither’s “Because He Lives”? “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. Because He lives I have a future and life is worth the living, just because He lives!” (I want that song for my memorial service) I know that He directs your steps and that you have a deep and personal relationship with Him, so I also have confidence that this is just one more road bump on your journey of WHOLENESS in Him. Happy New Year!


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