Tree decorating evokes memories

Marlys Good
At Random

I am a bit late decorating the tree this year. Decided it couldn’t just sit on the side countertop, and magically, one morning, I would get up and it would be completely decorated on the small table in front of the deck doors.
Son #4 did put it on the small table. It was partially still decorated from last year (some stray man wandered in, saw the half-decorated tree, and took it downstairs and sat it on its year-long perch down there). But it does need a bit more to make it pretty.
As I picked through the decorations, my mind wandered as I remembered when I made this one or that one—the lace angles, the “skiing” snowmen, the jack-in-the-boxes and the small mailboxes with a family name on each one. Then there are the German ornaments, ones my mother had been gifted from Lucille from her numerous trips to Germany to visit her son and daughter-in-law. There are also silver musical instruments, a Denver Bronco football and a crazy monkey that came attached to one of the kid’s presents one long-ago Christmas.
Oh, there are the shiny balls, and even some “decorations” the kids made in elementary school—and that was many years ago that I had kids still in elementary school. One ornament was a tuna can, empty, of course. Inside and out it was glued with colorful paper and tucked in the bottom of the can was a school picture—can’t remember if that was Mark or Chris, and I don’t know what ever happened to that ornament. (I have a sneaky suspicion that whoever’s picture it was surreptitiously got rid of it.) And, of course, there are the inevitable icicles. I love them. More than one of my kids say I over-do them, but nowadays it’s my tree, I tell them.
Nowadays, decorating the tree is a time of remembering years gone by. Each Christmas tree is a bit different from the one the year before. Each one was special. But I recall the fun, the laughing, the “contest” of who was the best decorator each year. It left memories and I am grateful for them all.
So while I am decorating by myself, all five of my kids are here with me, each one reminding me of a branch that needs a bit more color; that I maybe, just maybe, have an abundance of blue ornaments. Or one laughing and asking why I still hang the “dumb” Denver Bronco ornament on the tree.
And yes, the lace and ribbon angels show their age (don’t we all), the snowmen look like they might fall off those skis at any minute, and the mice are getting tired of being locked in their “boxes” year after year.
When I’m finished, I plan to sit back, have a cup of coffee and listen to a few of my favorite Christmas carols. For Christmas comes but once a year. The “reason for the season” is with us every day; in these troubled times, we would do well to remember the age-old hymn, “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.”