The Memory Tree

12 12 2010

I look forward to putting up our Christmas tree every year for two reasons. The first reason is knowing Patrick is going to love it. There is something about the twinkling of each delicate light and moving to and fro that allows him to appreciate the full spectrum of colors in a way I wish I could see. For Jeff and me, it is a yearly trip down memory lane. Our tradition is to put up our tree the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving. Last year, Patrick was in his bedroom at the time. When he came into the room the next morning, the smile that crept up on his face was brighter than any star in the sky. My Christmas contentment lay within that smile. This year he became the task-master, voicing his protest if we stopped at all to take a break. We would deliberately rest just to bust his chops and listen to him protest.

Every ornament I can trace back to a loving memory. After my mother died, of all the items left to me, the six ornaments that date back to my childhood hold the most significance. Being the dysfunctional home it was, our holidays then were filled with a mixture of happiness and heartache. However, when I look at these ornaments, I choose to remember the joy. They are old and falling apart. I do not know how much longer I will be able to repair them.

The tennis racquet ornament brings to my mind memories of my first love and the Christmas we spent together here in Houston. There is the Santa & Mrs. Claus sleeping in a bed, handmade by a physician’s assistant with whom I worked; Mrs. Claus’ head is now missing.

There are the many ornaments I gathered in the first days of my first apartment. I found a wonderful company called Cracker Box who makes kits for these homemade ornaments with beads and lace and pins. For two years, one each year, I made these works of art. Their instructions were hysterical, injecting the personality of those who wrote them.

Before getting married I joined a Disney ornament-of-the-month club. There is Minnie, Mickey, Pinocchio, Donald Duck, and several others from that period of my life. Pinocchio’s nose has broken off. Received as a wedding gift is a Lenox ornament of 2 doves kissing and labeled as “first Christmas.”

We moved on to our Star Trek ornament collectible obsession. It was then we began our golden retriever ornament collection. After Patrick was born, we added a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament. Three ornaments are a result of my trip to Disneyworld in Florida in the late 1990’s with some friends. I have an ornament or two from an overnight trip to Kemah, Texas. During our 2001 trip to Vancouver, BC, I picked up an awesome golden retriever ornament on skis and with goggles on from a store in Whistler (where the 2010 Winter Olympics were held).

I remember each ornament given to us as a gift and by whom. I think of those people with affection as we are hanging them.

Adorning our tree, too, are the handmade ornaments Patrick has made since he was a toddler.

Last year, MGM put out a Stargate SG-1 ornament (that I got half-price the bargain shopper I am). I was gravely disappointed to find our local Carlton Cards went out of business as I checked for this year’s prospective Stargate ornament.

Once done, we sit back and marvel at our memory tree, a symbolic diary of our lives.

The symbolic diary of our lives

What do you do with your tree? Do you have a theme? Fresh or artificial? Clear lights or multicolored lights? Blinking or steady?


Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: