The journey took over 50 years, but my travels this day lasted about an hour. Families have lots of traditions when it comes to trimming the #Christmas tree. Some have #ornaments that all match, and the tree glistens with coordinated bows and frills. Those with small children, may have all their ornaments clumped in one toddler-designed section of the tree. There are real trees, artificial-to-look-like real trees, and of course there are artificial that don colorful branches and sprays of fake snow-covered pine needles.
Our tree is typically real, and historically we’ve made an evening out of going and buying it from a local tree stand, bringing it home and letting it settle, then decorating it the next night. Our time together as a family is just about as close to movie-perfect as you can get. But as life goes, this year, our son was out of town for a marching band commitment (WKU at the Boca Raton Bowl), so it was my husband and me. It was a different kind of delightful 2-evening event. Yes, I had tearful moments; but that’s ok. It was a different kind of year, and my emotions needed to catch up.
My husband put the lights on the tree, and while he baked Christmas cookies, I traveled in time through each ornament I hung. If our tree had a theme, it would be our blessed moments. An ornament made of a Styrofoam ball that had orange yarn for my hair, and beads for my eyes, nose, and mouth, took me back to second grade and getting moved from my desk group for being too chatty. Ornaments from our son’s first year in baseball, or in 2008 when he learned to swim and water ski. The Hallmark boat ornament that looks just like our Moomba, my husband always hangs. For many years, when we would vacation, we would bring home an ornament so that the summer memory would be recaptured in December. Several trips to the beach, just the three of us, and a couple of years with my entire family. #Baseball trips to Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida, and the Baseball Hall of Fame in New York. Disneyworld, Niagara Falls, New York, Chicago, oh, the places we’ve traveled! Our first married Christmas and our first home purchased together are represented with sparkles of white, and bright red ornaments. In 2002, I started adding an #angel ornament each year. Each represents something about my life; an Irish angel, an angel’s embrace has a small child in her arms, a dancing angel. Others are just peaceful and calming to ponder. The time we’ve shared and the memories we’ve made swirled and danced to the tunes of the Christmas carols playing while the smell of butter and sugar wafted from the kitchen.
Merry Christmas and peace to you and those you love.
Each tree is unique like each of your memories. This year in particular we need to count our blessings! So much loss in the world. We are so very lucky.
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