Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Tradition part 1: Decorating the Tree

Last night we did some of our Christmas traditions.  We decorated the green tree.  You see in recent years we have begun to have two tress to decorate. 

The white tree has the homemade beaded balls that my mother made about 45 years ago when I was a little child.  I have memories of her making them with her friend but to be honest I can't tell if they are real memories or ones that have been put in because she has told me about it so many times.  In addition we put the family photo ornaments on the white tree.  Each year since the girls were born we have put a picture of them from that year in an ornament and hung them on the tree.  Even at the beginning of having children I realized that the day would come when there pictures would be needed to remind me of so many special years as a father.  Since our girls are 16 and older that means we have a lot of photo ornaments.  This year I put that tree up and decorated it mostly by myself a week ago.  I enjoyed looking at all those ornaments and sorting through memories as the girls were growing up.  This year for Jaime's ornament it now has her with her husband.  As I told the girls as they have grown up, we had the daughters and they got to choose the sons.  So I encouraged them to choose wisely.  Jaime did.  The white tree has a nativity scene under it that Lisa gave me for a present a few years ago, to help us remember the real thing we are celebrating at Christmas.  This white tree is primarily for Lisa and I to enjoy fond memories of the girls.  Oh the girls often try to put some of their less desired pictures in the back of the tree but overall it works out well. 

The green tree is connected with another tradition.  Lisa brought a tradition from her family that the parents gave the kids a new ornament each year and then when they got married and left home they took their ornaments with them.  We try to have the ornament for that year have some connection with something they did during the year.  This year for the first time there are lots of ornaments missing because Jaime got married and we boxed those up and sent them to her so she could have the beginnings of ornaments for her first tree with Mike.  I wonder how that is going?  (by the way we found a couple ornaments we missed and will have to send them later). Still we managed to have tons of ornaments and had to become picky at the end as to which ones we put on the tree.  Then after we were done I gave them their new ornaments for the year.  This year Megan received a glass nativity ornament since she has served the last year and a half as a missionary for Christ.  Hilary's ornament I can't mention since she isn't home to receive it yet.  Haleigh's ornament was an angel holding a child symbolizing her class in high school on child care that she enjoys.  Jaime and Mike's ornament was two frogs dangling their feet over a fence and of course in love.  If they would just kiss then they wouldn't remain frogs?  I had forgotten that part of the tradition was playing the Mannheim Steemroller DVD as we do this.  Haleigh brought that to my attention and it was quickly rectified with rousing Christmas music. 

But this year things were a little different because Lisa wasn't with us as we decorated the tree.  She is in MN caring for her mother and concerned about her Dad.  Fortunately she called as we were finishing up and it was a little bit like she was there with us. 

The piece de resistance was mostly overlooked except by Megan who had the honor this year of putting our tree topper on.  We have two small stuffed bear ornaments that we have always put on our tree.  One of those bears was to be Dallas Jr.'s first ornament about 25 years ago but he didn't survive birth so now you could say that he is the angel we like to remember at the top of our tree. 

So you see that our family has traditions intertwined through our family, especially at Christmas.  Sometimes as I grow older I forget some of the traditions but am glad they have meant enough to our children that they remind me and we keep them going.  Christmas has always been a spiritual and magical time in our family and I hope that it will continue to be that way maybe especially now that our first daughter won't be home for Christmas this year as she forges her new family and starts their own traditions.  I wonder how many will come from our family to get mixed with Mike's family traditions?

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