I let my family do something totally different this year – they decorated the tree without me. I had to work last Saturday and I still can’t carry anything over 10 lbs, so I let them have at it. They did a good job, but the tree looked funny to me and I couldn’t quite figure out what was missing.
So, today while cleaning up the living room and finishing the decorating, I found one of the boxes of ornaments. Lo and behold – I figured out what was left behind. They failed to put any of my handmade ornaments on the tree – the ones that mean the most to me.
You know, the ones that your child lovingly makes in preschool and kindergarten. The frames surrounding toothless children smiling in Santa hats, the gingerbread men, complete with a full set of teeth and covered with glitter that gets everywhere, the reindeer made out of Popsicle sticks and the angels made from clothes pins. Even the angel made out of macaroni that’s so fragile that it’s missing half its noodles. They bring so many happy memories to me as I hang them on the branches.
Then there were the ornaments from my youth that probably don’t mean a thing to my kids. I have things from the 70’s and 80’s from my grandma and aunts. That was back in the days of ceramics.
Some of my favs were made by my great aunt Georgia, who never married but had many “beaus”, took up smoking again at age 75 because she missed it and carried around a flask of whiskey that said “Rye” on the front. She never missed my birthday, either. Hallmark could never manufacture an ornament that could bring back memories of her like the ones that she handmade for me.
I put all of my sweet, handmade ornaments on our tree today and was immediately flooded by the memories of each one. Forget Better Homes and Gardens “theme” trees – I’ll take my snowflake ornament made from Elmer’s glue and Q-tips any day.