Saturday, December 17, 2016


Tree ornaments are more than ornaments. They carry the memories of all the other trees where they've been hung.

When I was little we had a Christmas ornament, a delicate, glass pink nest in gold wire with a bird. One year we dropped it. The glass shattered, but we still put it on the tree each year.

Fast forward to adulthood when I lived with a couple. The required ornament was a Styrofoam sputnik, made by my friend in 3rd grade. I hear rumors that it is still required for their tree every year. I am not sure if the ornament has hit 50 yet or not but it is. Its ugliness is overruled by its memories

Our memory ornaments were painted by my daughter and I when she was three. She is approaching 50. Her attempts still must be on my tree. I gave her one of them for her own tree. Later on she was able to make more sophisticated ornaments. Those, too, go up.

And there is an ornament made by the daughter of a former colleague when she was nine. That too, is a must have.

Llara embroidered Christmas Stockings for us when she was at Boston Latin High School. The one I was originally to have my Japanese chin, Albert, peed on. Although it washed up nicely, she decided that she would keep the one that never had pee.

And she knew Rick needed his own.

 As a relatively new couple we are trying to start our own holiday traditions. It includes putting on Christmas music, Santa hats and decorating the tree. We will eventually seek our own memory ornaments.

I don't put lights on our frustration. I don't put on real candles as I did when I lived in Germany. I'm chicken. Some years I put cotton on the branches to look like snow, but that isn't a tradition.

This year, like our first year when we take the tree down, we will sweep up the needles, lovingly thankful for the memories that they brought us. We will carry them to the river and return them to nature.

Jokingly I refer to the tree as a Solstice Shrub. What county, is not the name, but the joy of creating a memory each year.

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