O Christmas Tree!

Beautiful Christmas trees proliferate this time of year, and I tend to love them all. My admiration abounds for everything from the beautiful tall trees decorated with ribbons and themes to the tiny tabletop varieties with colored gumdrops. But when it comes to my own, I hang onto tradition. The only difference in our tree in yearly Christmas pictures is to look at the surroundings to see where its placed. The tradition holds so strongly that our daughter lamented in her first year of marriage that she didn’t know where the ornaments went on her tree in her new home.

I could tell you stories about:
•    The red stockings with the white bands that I crocheted and labeled with our names when we were only five, now grown to seventeen
•    Handmade school days kid ornaments like Murray’s thread-cone angel from 4th grade – on the back as a compromise to assuage adult embarrassment of childish effort
•    Teacher ornaments with names of children I taught printed in an unobtrusive place so I remember who gave them
•    Postage stamp, mailbox, and mailman in honor of retired postal carrier Al
•    12 wooden ornaments from the 1980 ladies Sunday school class that I taught in Germany with pertinent comments saved on the slips of paper inside their egg carton container: Accordion – She can seldom “squeeze” a word in among us talkers; Rocking horse – She always complains how “colt” it is in here; Drummer – She always “drums” up a smile; Conductor – She directs our thinking and conducts a wonderful study every week; etc.
•    Ornaments picked up as we finished our visiting the 50 states “bucket list” including: a cable car from San Francisco; an Oregon beaver; a Santa Claus house from Alaska; and Route 66 from Arizona
•    A Lenox cross from daughter-in-law Steph
•    A peace dove from my niece’s Christmastime wedding for which I made 200 reception sandwich rolls
•    The skate and Kristi Yamaguchi skater given by Anna one year as a clue to the real gift – a trip to see Holiday on Ice with her in Shreveport
•    The new handmade sequined ornament from my 95-year-old aunt.
•    Logo ornaments of my favorite college football teams – Baylor and Ole Miss

In our tradition, the oldest child at home put the Nuremberg angel on the top for the finale. Now, I get to put it up. We got its story along with the angel at the Chriskindlemart in Germany. The legend says it was created by a doll-maker who’d heard angels wings as his daughter lay dying.

You might understand why I consider Al’s remark on our first empty-nest Christmas rather pointless, “We don’t need to put up a tree since no one is coming this year.” This tree is for me.