Christmas is all about memories and family

We put up our Christmas tree this past Friday and Saturday.
When our boys were young, we would go out on a tree-finding afternoon–often at my cousin’s farm on the River Road. We would march through the bush, usually with one of the boys being pulled on a sleigh while the older son walked on the broken trail through the bush.
It was a full afternoon exercise before the appropriate tree was found and then brought back and tied on the roof of the van.
Only when we were home did we realize the tree was too tall to fit in the house. The base was cut and branches saved in case they were needed for fill in. The tree also was frozen and so had to be thawed in the stand overnight before the lights and ornaments were added.
Our youngest was allergic to evergreens and it wasn’t until just a few years ago that we switched to a “fake” tree.
Every year of our marriage, new ornaments have arrived. Our first Christmas, our first child all have memories attached to them. And every year, each of our children would find a new ornament and it to would be added to the tree.
With this background, putting ornaments on the tree is a time-consuming business.
Each box, as it is unwrapped, becomes a new memory. A brass rocking horse from my Aunt Mugs and Uncle Wes to Brendan marking his first Christmas again was unpacked. Both of them are long passed but their memories continue on.
There is a glass globe that turns that was chosen by Brendan at a swim meet in Kenora. There is a wizard with a long hat chosen by Adam one year, and another of stacked snowmen that he chose another time.
Each ornament is dated with our sons name on it.
There is a pewter ornament picked up on a family trip to the Maritimes. There is a huge sand dollar with Noel painted on the surface from a trip to Fort Myers.
Each ornament has some special memory attached. And although one might want to hurry through decorating the tree, it is fun to reminisce about the memories that are attached to each one.
Our tree’s theme is family and eclectic, and each ornament has a special place in our minds. The tree decorating once a year reminds us of all the good times in our lives.
The choice of ornaments chosen by our children changed as they grew up. We tried to give them to our sons when they moved away, but they felt the only place that was suitable for them was in our home.
And if anything, Christmas is about memories and family. The ornaments are wonderful reminders of how fortunate we have been.

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