The tree is another tradition in our household. So are pictures—stills and movies. One year, I made a movie using stop action (along with Hubs’ patience) where the artificial tree assembled itself and added its own lights and ornaments. Another year, we put our two-week-old daughter under the tree, the moment preserved in a photo. Then there was the morning captured on film when our nearly one-year-old son toddled around the corner and saw the tree all lit and decorated. (One of these days, I’ll transfer those Super 8 films onto DVDs.)
While many people enjoy spectacular “themed” trees or are so talented that their trees look as professionally decorated as ones in stores, ours is filled with a mishmash of ornaments. As I put ornaments on our tree this year, Hubs made an observation. Now we’ve been married forty-one years and this is the first time he noticed how much enjoyment I get recalling the memories attached to ornaments—who gave it to us, when and/or where we bought it, who made it. Ornaments from our childhood. The gold mesh ball with potpourri made from our daughter’s wedding bouquet. Ones given to our son when he was little.
Lest you think I have a terrific memory, I’ve written on most of the ornament boxes the giver’s name and year received. (Is that cheating?) I do the same with my nutcracker collection. I wished I’d written the year on the first nutcracker my in-laws gave me. My mother-in-law didn’t know what she started as that one nutcracker from the mid-80s has mushroomed into close to a hundred. LOL At least I now have a home where I can display most of them. As I sit here writing this post, I look at the tree and the decorations and the memories keep interrupting.
Last, but definitely not least, is the nativity set. My first one when I was single had a few plastic pieces. With small children, I made sure the next set was unbreakable resin. Hubs even made a “stable” where the kids could rearrange the cows, sheep, shepherds, camels and kings. But Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus always stayed inside the stable. My favorite nativity set is the one my mother made in ceramics class. Along with reminding me of the real meaning of Christmas, it’s like Mom is sharing Christmas with us.
No matter how you celebrate this season, my wish for you, my readers, is peace for you, your family.