It’s Christmas time once again and the decorations have all been hung with care, the lights (understated but effective) are brightening the eaves of the house along with the Sago Palm in the front yard, and the tree has been erected and bedazzled with every bit of attention an obsessive compulsive can bring to bare. I stopped just short of measuring the distance between ornaments to make sure they were evenly distributed.
That’s right folks, I put up the tree and lovingly placed every decoration myself this year, proving that I AM capable of doing it, and that the world won’t stop spinning if I get into the Christmas spirit just a little bit. My ladies are normally in charge of putting up all the decorations and I just take care of the outside lights since no one else likes to get on the roof (I feel like a mountain goat running from peak to peak), but this year, I decided to lend a hand by doing a bit more than normal. I’m glad I did!
Up until this year, I’d never looked at the Christmas tree for everything it is, beyond just being a symbol of the holiday under which we pile gifts and gadgets each year leading up to Christmas Eve. I discovered that our tee is actually a time machine, filled with memorabilia from years past, that transport me to days long gone.
I found ornaments from our first Christmas together way back in 1991, Theresa’s stocking ornament from 1971, and any number of special decorations that were lovingly created by each of our girls over the years. There are snowflakes, crocheted trees and angels, plastic globes full of sand and shells, miniature picture frames, and any number of creations my two girls brought home from elementary school over the years. Each one is signed and dated so we don’t forget who made it and when, which is particularly important as we get older and our memories start failing………What was I saying?.....
I never knew which long-forgotten memory was going to resurface every time I reached into the box of glittering objects to select the next one to be added to the tree. Of course it’s tough to maintain a balance by hanging an equal number of treasures from each girl but I think I pulled it off amazingly well. And it wasn’t just ornaments created by my children that made the cut. I unknowingly included gifts from numerous family friends, things my mother-in-law made with the kids when they were young, and even some that my wife had made back when she was young. They all helped make the tree a unique and personal part of the Christmas season.
So, rather than decorate the tree with all those store-bought globes, and icicle shaped shards of glass and plastic, dig through the boxes in your attic or basement and look for those forgotten boxes of memories. Make your next tree one for the ages and I’m sure visitors will comment on how beautiful it looks with all the handmade decorations you’ve collected over the years. Take a moment look at your tree for what it really can be….a vehicle to past years and memories.
Brian “Beastman” Eastman