This afternoon the last remnants of Christmas were boxed up and put away.
I love setting up the tree every year and enjoying the ornaments all season long. Some people like their tree to match their decorations. Some people have concerns about little children, or pets. Some like a live tree, some an artificial. Some are attracted to tall spindly trees, some like them squat and fat. I enjoy them all, since each tree reflects the personality and character of both the individual, family and business.
In our home, we have a ‘family’ tree. (see Christmas Past) A few ornaments from my childhood, a few from my parents, one or two from a great grandmother, and a myriad collection from every year our my marriage and motherhood. It is part of a tradition I started on the first year of our marriage, an ornament to reflect the passing year.
One year we took the family on a Disney Cruise (highly recommended), so the ornament was a medallion from the ship. One year was a gold 3D City of Portland cityscape, in remembrance of my hometown which we had moved from that year. One of my favorites is the Christopher Radko ‘baby’ I found with my mother (top center) when were celebrating the birth of my oldest. One year, we had a giant ornament making part for my daughters and their friends. (the ’09 cinnamon ornament you see) A more recent collection included a clay miniature Army hat for my college freshman who had enrolled in ROTC, an angel for my youngest ‘angel’, a mini cigar box for hubby and a roll of sushi for me. This year, to honor our trip to the Hawaiian Islands, you see the snorkel gear and fins in the foreground.
Grandpa Bill adds to the collection, sending an ornament to the girls every single year. And every year, I pack away the ornaments for the girls to a special box designated ‘Girls Ornaments’. That way, when my daughters finally fledge the nest, they will have a Tree of Memories all their own.
This is just one of our family traditions. What traditions do you have? Ones that you will pass on to your kids? Try to find ones that last beyond the moment, ones that are part of an annual event. Ones that will hopefully cause your own children, and grandchildren, to pause and think about family and the memories you have created along the road of life.