One holiday tradition we established was buying ornaments after Christmas, wrapping them up for the next year’s tree. Another was always having a fresh tree until the year I invested in an artificial tree . . . I didn’t think it looked so bad once the ornaments were in place; although this was not a universally accepted opinion.
I don’t remember exactly which year we packed away all the decorative trappings and tree – but, we haven’t decorated a tree for many years, preferring to enjoy the ones our kids and others create – especially since in God’s providence, we travel at this time.
|Doug's Sister's Tree 2013|
I now use some fresh greens, and a few holiday ornaments, recently collected to mark the season.
In her blog, a friend asked what do you love about your tree this year, after sharing pictures of baubles that anchored her heart to joyful memories of Christmas past. (Working Moms Weekly) Coincidentally, this was the year I inventoried some of our ornaments – well, three boxes of them, splitting them up between our kids and into a keep pile, and discard pile. So, her question made me think back to favorite trees . . . each we declared was the best ever . . . until the artificial one.
Decorating Christmas trees over more than 30 years, generates quite a collection of ornaments, not to mention more boxes of decorations, a few of which I inherited. Nearly all of the most favorite Christmas decorations and ornaments were the ones that our kids gave us, or made. So, I re-gifted most of them back. The best ornaments, real and remembered, included:
· a peanut shell, wrapped and decorated as baby Jesus, now long-gone, was our son’s kindergarten era gift to us;
· a clothes pin swaddled in white and pink, a friend’s commemorative of our daughter’s first Christmas;
· a crafty reindeer with a tiny tinsel swag, and
· a little salt-dough lamb.
I just wish I could give with them the warm-fuzzies I felt each year unwrapping them.
We still are storing [too] many Christmas decorations in our daughter and son-n-law’s attic. But nothing compares to these treasures, and the memories they stir up. I remember the dearest children ever, family and friends who came to dinner, sometimes bringing gifts of ornaments and leaving memories of laughter and good conversations.I remember misunderstandings, frustrations, and failures that have disrupted friendships – stinging, when I unpacked these seasonal trinkets.
From art classes, I have learned what is light and gay never looks so bright and appealing as it does against some dark edges. That’s not a bad image for all the Christmas ornaments, real or just remembered, glistening against the dark evergreen trees -- even artificial ones, or the ones I remember.
“The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money. There's a kind of glory to them when they're all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy.” ― Andy Rooney, Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit
*Ebenezers – stones of mercy, guidance and comfort, even the ones I tripped over. (1 Samuel 7:12) Please God forgive me for stumbling others on their journey.