Dec 11, 2008

O Christmas Tree

We finally decorated our Christmas tree tonight. It's a simple holiday tradition we enjoyed as a family.

I'm the first to admit that I'm struggling to find the joy in the journey -- any journey -- these days, but tonight I had a small reprieve as I fondly remembered Christmases past. As the boys decorated our giant noble fir, I found myself bathed in flashbacks that included my own childhood, my teenage years, the first holidays Garry and I shared, and the seven Christmases that have included our children.

There's a story behind every single ornament. The clothespin angel a high school friend gave me the year we graduated. The wooden stocking stenciled with my name from a mall in California, purchased on a trip when I was obsessed with a boy from Orange. The set of 8 home-made ornaments I painted with my fellow young women in 1993. The ceramic reindeer that always has to have a special place.

This is one of the oldest ornament on our tree -- a gift from my parents when I was young. I believe my brother and sister have similar angels.

Then there's a Zachary hand print, one that's not so different than one he'd make now. But someday I'm sure I'll really love this one.

This one came from Grandma Dent, whose tree used to have dozens of Raggedy Anns and Andys. Each of the grandchildren got a set a few years ago.
.And the birdie that kept spinning and spinning so I couldn't get a focused picture.

The idea of getting new and unique ornaments every year was a new tradition for Garry when we got married; this is the only ornament he had in 1998, while I had a big box.

This one came from Grandma Dent a few years ago, and it is the boys hands-down favorite!

This is the first ornament Garry and I bought together for Christmas 1998 when we were still newlyweds.

Then there are lots of ornaments like this -- homemade with photos. Remember the playgroup ornament exchange of 2003, Jen P.? The back says, "Do you hear what I hear? Love, Sarah."

This snowflake came home for Christmas 2004, when Tyler was eight months old. Time sure flies!

Part of me would like to have a fancy, themed tree with beautiful ornaments that match, perfectly placed lights and ribbon, and a gorgeous tree skirt. But most of me really likes this eclectic hodge-podge of random decorations, the always-askew Santa hat, and the perpetually bare and rearranged lower branches. It's like throwing my life history on a pine tree for a few weeks out of the year. What's better than that?

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