Sunday, November 29, 2009

Out of the Box

"How many ornaments do you have?! Do you think you have enough?" My son lifted one more box from the attic. Yes, I do have a few boxes and bags of Christmas decorations. I've had 62 years to accumulate the treasures in these boxes.

My children long ago retrieved their ornaments. Now my tree is adorned only with my own. I have a couple of clothespin Rudolph’s and a couple of babies in walnut shells. Photos of my children adorn several with one still bearing my ex's face. Dough ornaments are lopsided and primitive but then so were the little hands that created them. My oldest sister painted many for me when I was first married. My artsy sis yearly creates wonderful, personally designed ornaments. I have ornaments Grandma Margaret, our neighbor on the farm, made by cross stitch.

There are those needlepoint ornaments I toiled over when my hands did not hurt. And those precious few I have from Mom and Dad. More ornaments were added when my kids began buying for me, each ornament a precious memory.

Yes, I have boxes of ornaments and decorations. Just as I did as a child, my granddaughters will unpack them then ‘ooooh and aaaaaah’. I will tell them the story behind each decoration, or they will tell me what they remember from past years. Each ornament will be hung with loving care. Unlike years ago when the girls were smaller, these ornaments will actually spread around and up the tree instead of one small section near the bottom where little hands could reach.

Once in awhile a precious ornament breaks just like we do. Some are lost but never forgotten. I look at my tree and see my parents, my siblings, my neighbors, my children. I cherish the memories, old and new.

Dad no longer lifts me up to place the angel or star at the top of the tree. I no longer place the cast metal figures on the mirror pretending to be a frozen pond. Still in my mind, I see skaters dancing across a pond with fake snow in drifts around the side. I am home once more.

One by one, the memories come out of the box. One by one they live again.

1 comment:

  1. Your Christmas tree sounds a lot like ours. Besides the homemade ornaments and ones we have received as gifts, we also try to pick up an ornament on each vacation. Every year our children and grandchildren enjoy finding special ornaments on our very eclectic tree. We even play a little game: who will be the first to find jogging Santa, or the San Francisco streetcar, or the crocheted snowman. It's so much more interesting than having a Christmas tree with a "theme."