Christmas is a special time of year for me. Putting up the lights, arranging the lawn decorations, dragging the boxes from storage, wrapping gifts
and making wreaths to hang on the door fill my life with joy.
I love decorating the Christmas tree. When I was a child, blown glass reindeer and lights that bubbled hung from the branches. Silver tinsel twisted and spun in the slightest breeze. If a light went out, my father unscrewed the bulb and replaced it. Half the decorations were hand-made. All my school efforts dangled in the front.
So when I married and my Mom gave me an ornament with the date I was thrilled. I hang that tiny elf swinging on a star near the top of my tree every year. It was joined by an elf with my daughter’s name.
My Mom started a lovely tradition. She gave each of the children an ornament with their name and the year. I kept it going after she died.
So as the children grew, a soccer player dangled here, a wrestler there, several girls dressed as ballerinas stepped high. A typewriter joined them, then a book. A black dog with a bone commemorated Farful our old dog. The paper chain decorated with Christmas stickers from my daughter’s third grade loops between branches. Over the years, the tree became so crowded the branches bent toward the floor.
So when my children married, it wasn’t too difficult to hand off a box of ornaments with their name and the past years to the couple. Time rushes by. Every Christmas I see those old ornaments with a sad sigh, until one of my grandchildren points with an excited grin.
“Do you remember that one, Nana?”