Tradition: The Tree

Picture it.  Late 1970’s, early 1980’s.  Shag olive green carpet.  Mom and dad putting together the artificial Christmas tree.  The tips are color coordinated with the holes on the “trunk”.  With each passing year the colors become more and more faded until one year the thing causes so much frustration I swear that someone is going to throw it through the picture window.  It lasted until the late 80’s.  Then my parents divorced and I’m uncertain what became of that tree.

My Christmas’ have been a barrage of real and artificial trees, assorted heights and widths.  Ornaments have multiplied throughout the years, each with it’s own special memory and significance.  My favorite part of the this holiday is the putting up and taking down of the ornaments.  I ponder over each one, remembering who gave it to me, realizing the emotion and memory behind it.  My own tradition are the photo ornaments that cover my tree.  I have an ornament for each of my boys honoring each Christmas they have been alive.  I long for the day when I cannot fit other ornaments on my tree because of all the picture ornaments.

Several years ago my honey and I made the decision to donate our artificial to a family who would not otherwise have had a tree.  From that moment forward we have been devoted to real trees.  We are not the “trek through the woods and cut down our own tree” people.  I honor those people.  I want to be those people.  Point blank, I’m lazy.  I like that Lowe’s, Home Depot and Costco have done all the work for me!  I’ll gladly take the heat for the beautiful Costco tree sitting in my living room as I type.

When decorating, the top goes on last.  On my tree?  Always an angel.  My honey and I found the sweetest, poverty ridden angel ornament many years ago.  A Target purchase I believe but truly cannot remember anymore.  Anyway, we turned her into a topper with, of all crazy things, a toilet paper tube.  After all these years I’ve only colored the tube green.  Sure, I talk about replacing it so that she’s slightly more classy.  But she’s so plain, so ordinary that I can’t bring myself to make her classy.  She says to me that you always make the best out of what you have.  Her dress is covered with colored buttons instead of sequence.  Her halo is made of vines and twigs.  Her toilet paper tube suits her well.

There are three other trees that decorate our home.  The boys each have one that they got for their very first Christmas.  Each year we add an ornament to it.  This year they’ll get lights.  They cherish these trees and look forward to putting them up by themselves each year.  They get to decide where the ornaments go.  They get full control over something Christmas.  These trees are the first decorations to go up every year and the last ones to come down.  The remaining tree is mine.  A special gift from my honey more years ago than I care to count.  At the time she also gave me the very first Snoopy ornament in a collection that is now in it’s 14th year.  Ok, I counted and don’t believe my math!  The tree is very Charlie Brown like and now has an ornament on each limb.  I tried to convince my honey that I need another one.  She threatened to stop buying me the Snoopy ornaments…  Guess I’ll just make the tree more Charlie Brown like by adding so many ornaments that it turns into the most beautiful tree in the neighborhood 🙂

The tree is important to me.  It symbolizes my family, my childhood, the memories I hold near and dear in my heart.


About Brotherly Love

I am a mom, partner, teacher and a lover of life. I have two fabulous boys who define my life as I know it. One of my children has been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder, Asperger's and anxiety disorder. I blog as much about him as I do about my life and the lives of my immediate family.
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