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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas memories’

Crystal snowflakes sparkle as they dangle from chandeliers, Santa guides his sleigh from high above his lookout in the family room, and Christmas fairies gently perch on the mantle above the stove top to supervise holiday cooking. My home seems to come alive during the holidays.

One of the first things I rush to decorate every year is my kitchen tree. It’s a small tree that stands near my bookcase of cookbooks and it’s covered with measuring spoons and measuring cups, cinnamon hearts and gingerbread men, cookie cutters tied with ribbons, and cookie dough ornaments. It’s a happy, homey-type of tree.

Some of my fondest memories are centered around Christmas trees. As a young child I remember stringing the giant and hot Christmas lights around and around the tree and then throwing the lead tinsel up in the air and watching it land on little precipices of evergreen.

Then when I got married, a Christmas tree became a luxury item, because we lived off of my meager salary while my husband was in graduate school. We bought a tree to decorate – it was only a three-footer, but it was our first three-foot tree! And amazingly enough, when we stood it on a crate it became a five-foot giant! With no money for ornaments, I remember crafting my own out of dough, wood, and whatever material I could find cheaply. For the garland, I patted myself on the back for cleverly thinking of stringing foam packing peanuts on dental floss. From far away my garland really did resemble strands of popcorn.

With the birth of each of my children came new tree decorating traditions. Every year I purchased an ornament for each child that represented some milestone in his life for that year. Our family tree has become filled with Sesame Street characters, Disney characters, unique child-crafted ornaments made from pine cones, macaroni, toilet paper rolls, etc., dog-related ornaments, sports-related paraphernalia, ornaments picked up from our family vacations, school mascots, symbolic ornaments such as cars (representing driver’s licenses) and mini beer steins or mini champagne bottles (celebrating 21st birthdays). You name it and we probably have it on our tree! As old as my kids are now, they still ask me what their ornament for the year is and I have to admit it is getting more difficult to find those special ornaments that represent significant moments in their adult lives!

Would I trade my family’s memory tree filled with rag-tag, random ornaments for a designer tree? Never in a million years! When I first decided to have a tree like this for our family, my thought was that as each child grew up and finally had a home of his own, he could take his childhood collection of ornaments with him. Hopefully, as he reflects on his ornaments, each child will remember the happy moments in his life and the love our family shares.

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