Last year after I returned from Thailand, my friends, Lou and Barb came over to visit my home for the first time and Barb brought me a thoughtful housewarming gift. They were barely in my home and Barb let out a gasp and said, “Where is your Christmas tree?” and at that very moment I felt like shit. Her saying that with the disappointment all over her face was the exact look my mother would have given me and even the same gasp. The very next day, I went and bought a Christmas tree.
Here it is, Thanksgiving Day and home with my two furry friends Lilly (the cat which I inherited from my father) and my dog, Mia sharing Thanksgiving (and my ham) with them and enjoying the peace and quiet. I bought some ham and sides from Honeybaked Ham, a small coconut cream pie, small pumpkin crunch pie and a freshly baked loaf of bread from Joyful Jars and Delights.
My eyelids opened and I was wide awake, jumping out of bed and for the first time in almost ten years, excited to put up the Christmas Tree as if I was a kid on Christmas Day. When my parents were alive and I was younger living with them I would carefully hang our ornaments as my parents watched me. My dad would always go get the tree from the basement, once we had an artificial tree that is and I decorated. My mom would sit in the reclinder, my dad on the couch by the large living room window and in the background was an old western t.v show that my dad would watch off and on. From ornaments that my grandma made me, to classic ornaments, it was a blast. I loved it. Not just because Santa was coming but because it was fun and my parents would watch me with smiles on their faces. I was always carefully placing each ornament especially these beautiful Swarvoski ornaments that my dad’s employer would give them each year which started my love for their creative crystal items. (side note that when I was in Austria I was able to visit Swarovski Kristallwelten and it is the most amazing place).
There have been years in the past when I have not put up a Christmas tree, bitter about my mother’s death and last year I was not going to put one up as I was and still am bitter about my father’s death. But this year, my attitude was slightly better and once I got the tree up, I remembered all of the happy times with my parents. Yesterday, I laughed to myself thinking of one time when our cat, Checkers got up in the tree and my mom yelling at me to get the “damn cat out of the tree”. She was freaking out and it was hilarious.
This year, I have a few new ornaments that actually had me a little more excited about putting up the tree and decorating it even though that nobody but me may see it. For me, ornaments are memories and they mean something. I do not like when a tree is decorated with the same bulbs and decorations that they bought in a box just because it looks all the same. My tree topper is crooked but i sort of like it that way now. An imperfect tree for a girl who has a slightly skewed attitude of the holidays. Sometimes my head feels like my crooked topper most days anyhow.
Here are some of my memories and things that reflect my personality and things I like the best which are on my Christmas Tree.