Another Christmas Come and Gone

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year for so many reasons. I love the get-togethers with family and friends, the special shows put on by the local music theatres, the excitement and anticipation on young children's faces, and hearing the memories of past Christmases that my senior adult friends share with me.

I'm a sentamentalist who keeps way too many "memory" items. I have boxes of old school papers of my own, my siblings, and my daughter's. I'm the designated keeper of all generations of family photos for my family and for my husband's family. I keep souvenirs from trips, from events, and even movie tickets. Basically if it can (and probably shouldn't be) kept, I keep it. (I am trying to sort through things now and thin out those amazing collections since I don't believe my daughter really wants to inherit quite so many "treasures.") And I have many, many special keepers from Christmases over the years.

I enjoy seeing what my friends and family collect as decorations. Some people put up exquisitely decorated trees or have holiday designers do their trees. They are nice, in my opinion, but not special. I like seeing trees filled with ornaments made and collected over the years. That's the kind of Christmas tree we put up. Some of my most beloved ornaments are the twisted pipe cleaner ones or the felt ones made by my daughter when she was very young. You aren't really sure what they are, but they're keepers. Even more so because she always tries to hide them at the back of the tree.

I also treasure the ornaments friends and family have made for me: beautifully beaded ones made by my Great Aunt, handpainted ones lovingly created especially for me by my niece, crocheted candy canes, and the special ornaments people choose for me. And I pick up ornaments when I travel to different places.

Every year when I decorate the tree it's a time to reflect on the past. The last few years my daughter and one of my nieces has helped decorate the tree and put out my other holiday collections of decorations: snowmen, angels, Santas, gingerbread men, and my holiday houses. As we pull out the decorations and decide what to put on the tree, we talk about our memories of the ornaments. Unless an ornament gets totally broken, it will find its way onto the overly decorated tree. The wounded but beloved ornament will be nestled on a branch. The tattered and stained small cloth angel that my daughter took from the tree and played with when she was young still finds its way onto our tree.

I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas and that you took the time to drift through pleasant memories of past years.


Reese Mobley said...

Starla, thanks for the insight into your Christmas. Our tree (and house--come to think of it) is full of handmade ornaments and special doodads too. Each one holds a special memory and I'll treasure them forever. Have a wonderful New Year!

snwriter52 said...

Testing my Picture, Starla.

Penny Rader said...

Christmas came and went so quickly. All that build up and then...whoosh, it's gone. I've been prolonging the season a bit by reading Christmas stories and watching Christmas movies. :D I always enjoy seeing your Christmas tree and your collections. I especially appreciated your Christmas village at the office this year. I could stand in front of it and think, "Hmmm. What if? Maybe..."