Love, family and holidays: a memorable journey

It’s finally officially Christmas in the household.

After a number of delays and assorted other grumbles, we got a tree (a real one this year, thanks to Dr. Doo-Be-Do, who even put it on his Christmas list), got it up and last night decorated it.

Our tradition, which I’ve stuck to through the years, is that we put on Christmas music then Momma hands out each ornament to hang up. That saves the mad dash and grab for the goodies in the box, as we have a somewhat eclectic tree decor.

When we go to Kraynak’s, I admire the heck out of the beautiful trees displayed, in perfect shades of white or blue lights and ornaments, themed beauties that they are, draped in fluff or tinsel or whatever puffy thing is the flavor du jour of the season. But ours isn’t like that.

Ours is kind of a history of our lives. We have a tiny trolley car that looks just like the real thing, that we bought in San Francisco during the first book tour in 1999. We have the pink flamingo we bought in Key West on our honeymoon. Several macaroni-framed school pictures also grace the tree, from preschool right up through junior high, as well as the popsicle stick reindeer K made in elementary school with the cockeyes.

Little Miss’s Nightmare Before Christmas ornament is up, as well as the Grinch and little Cindy Lou Who, who was, as we know, no more than two. Of course, there’s the Star Trek shuttlecraft and the Enterprise, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Neil Armstrong on the moon.  Now if we only had a replica of our beloved Firefly ship…. *sigh*

Moving on through the years, we have the “hat babies” that I bought from some fund raiser M had back in elementary school, when she was younger than her kids are now. There’s the cut-out babies, gilt paintings of little cherubs copied from magazines of the 30’s and 40’s. We have a thick glass book from Germany that we picked up at EPCOT, a series of carousel horses, a red metal tricycle, and several small glass balls traded during various community theatre shows over the years. Miracle on 34th Street, anyone? Four of us did that the first year I was divorced, even K, who got to play a child on Santa’s lap. There’s a delicate clipper ship we bought in Maine the summer we visited B at her Ferry Beach gig, and several blown glass ornaments my mother gave to me, that reflect the lights in a hundred sparkly ways.

Following a tradition I learned from my grandmother’s days of watching Days of our Lives, we also have large red globes with names of each of the family members. We’ve lost several over the years, thanks to many cats and small children, and always try to get them replaced in time for the next year so that even on the tree, we can all be together.

As with the rest of life, we pull together new memories and let go some of the old. Children come to us, grow, learn, and move on to have Christmas trees and macaroni ornaments of their own. Christmas is a time to remember to stop and reflect and be grateful for all we have, have had, and will have.

“Christmas–that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance–a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.”
~ Augusta E. Rundell


11 thoughts on “Love, family and holidays: a memorable journey

  1. What we REALLY want to know is- how big is the tree? How many rope supports are in place? If it fell, would it create a dent or hole in the floor?


  2. beautiful! our tree is full of history too… starting with the ceremonial first ornament (a miniature 6 pack of festive beer), and ending with the handblown glass alien space ship, which gets attacked by glitter encrusted F-16’s. i’ll take a ‘history’ tree over a color coordinated designer tree any day!

  3. i miss home. and getting to cause mischief with my siblings during the selection of the tree. and the set up of said mischief tree. 😦

  4. Ahhh, nice! Christmas “is” a magical time. And it comes but once a year! Ho ho ho, and happy New Year! (no, haven’t touched the egg nog, in case you’re wondering!!) 😉

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