I was decorating the Christmas tree this morning. I know I’m late. Last night I dragged the boxes down from the attic. This morning, I put everything up. I was really trying to decide whether to do it or not this year. You see, my son was home for Thanksgiving, but he high-tailed it home before Saturday, the traditional tree-decorating day. I know he will be here for Christmas, but we will be travelling to see my daughter’s graduation. She is graduating with a Master’s Degree in Counseling. I can’t believe it has been two and a half years since we dropped her off in a strange city and state 16 hours away.
Because she lives with her fiancé, who finally got a job (two years after graduating college), she doesn’t have immediate plans to move. Because, of course, she doesn’t have a job. I could write a long dissertation on the current state of the economy and what it is doing to our young people, but I’m going to leave it there for now. But with her current state of joblessness, I’m not sure if she can/will be coming home for Christmas like she did last year.
And of course, we also travel to see mom, and with her fragile health this year, I’m planning on going and staying as long as I can. I thought last Christmas might be our last together, and it almost was. I am thankful for every one I get. But truth is, it doesn’t seem like we’ll have as much time this year to enjoy the Christmas decorations.
Back to the Christmas tree–when I decorate I have a box crammed full of ornaments. and I mean crammed. I cannot hang them all, so I hang some of my favorites. They are not necessarily the prettiest. I hang some just because they are shiny and reflect the lights. I hang others because they are memories. A reindeer made by my son, another made by my daughter. Pieces of paper with glitter, and construction paper and felt ornaments. And I think back to when I was a kid and we made chains of construction paper, and made chains of cranberries and popcorn for the tree. We sat around with hot chocolate and sewed the popcorn and cranberries for hours. I never thought our tree looked cheap or ugly. It looked loved. Nowadays, each year, I end up decorating for Christmas by myself. I wanted my kids to love Christmas. Last year I kept the ornament box, still half full, out and asked my husband, son, daughter, and daughter’s fiancé to each select and hang a couple of ornaments on the tree. I’m pretty sure my husband did. I have no memory of the others participating.
This year one of the first ornaments I picked up was the one above. Our first Christmas together. It was given to me by a friend who was the maid of honor at our wedding. We’ve moved far and wide and I haven’t spoken to her in years. I remember our first Christmas together. I wish I had specific memories of every Christmas over that 30 years, but today what I am remembering is that I usually decorate the tree and hang up stockings all alone. If someone in your house is decorating for Christmas, stop and decorate with them, even if it’s for ten minutes. It’s a memory you’ll make together.