Who Are Your Five?


So the story goes…

It was my parents’ first Christmas together as a married couple. They were still in school and as is so often true with young married couples, the budget was tight and the celebration would be small.

They were asked by one of their professors if they had put up their tree yet. Sadly, they had to answer no, and explain that a tree and decorations were not in the budget that year.

Aghast, the professor exclaimed and explained to them why they needed a tree. He struck a deal with them.

“You get a tree, and I’ll provide the decorations.”

They agreed.

My parents found a small tree suitable for a young newlywed holiday. Their professor arrived at their door with a box of lights, garland, a few ornaments, and some red ribbon.

They began to decorate.

While they were putting the final ornaments on the tree, their professor began cutting the red ribbon and fashioning the strips into bows. He handed a few bows to each and began to explain.

“You are at the very beginning of this journey together. While you are together on this path there will be people who come alongside you to help. Sometimes they’ll help you both, and sometimes they’ll help you individually. Sometimes they will help you for a few months while others will stick with you for decades. Take some time each year to remember who those people were and are, and put a bow on the tree in their honor.”

Thus, the tradition began.

It was just the two of them for a few years. But their family began to grow. My sister and I came along and they taught the tradition to us.

On our Christmas tree growing up, we had twenty red bows. Five for each of us to dedicate. It started somewhat small and predictable. For many years our tree had a lot of bows for Mommy and Daddy, younger brothers and older sisters, and a lot of family pets.

But as we got older and our circles of influencers began to expand, the list extended not only to parents and siblings, but to best friends, teachers, directors, co-workers, significant others, and sometimes entire groups of people that had had significant impacts on our lives that year.

The rules were pretty loose. But the main idea remained; who has helped and encouraged and impacted your life this year?

Who are your five?

Who has helped you and encouraged you and impacted your life this year?

Is it your mom? Your dad? Your sister or your brother? Maybe it is your dog. Maybe it’s a co-worker or a friend.

Who are the people who challenged and inspired you to do more and be more this year?

We all have them. No one has ever accomplished anything without help.

No need for ribbons or bows or big tear filled ceremonies.

Who are your five?

Bonus points for telling your five who they are and why.

Originally posted in December 2013.


One Response to “Who Are Your Five?”

  1. Love this idea

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