Isn’t it amazing how pulling out the Christmas decorations brings back the memories?
Each ornament on the tree has a story. From the angel on the top that we bought our first Christmas together, to the five baby’s first Christmas ornaments, and the Swedish dala horses the kids painted with Grandma, each piece is unique to our family and to our history.
Then there’s the Plasticine nativity set we used when the our children were little. Pedro was so entranced with the donkey that he took it to nap time every day. He loved it so much the ears broke off. Replace it? Never. That ear-less donkey is as much a part of our Christmas as the red Christmas stockings made by Aunt Teresa.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised by our reactions when, at Thanksgiving, Mom asked my sisters and I to look through a box of Christmas decorations before she donated them.
What a flood of nostalgia!
I could almost smell the Christmas tree, taste the peanuts in my bag from Santa, and hear the song “I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas”!
Most of the decorations got taken quickly – each of us finding that bit of home and childhood we wanted.
Most of the decorations – but not all.
There was this one.
The plastic holly Christmas tree thing that mom had hanging on the front door every year.
We all remembered it. It was an integral part of Christmas – just like the presents from Santa Claus and saying our pieces at the Children’s Christmas Program on Christmas Eve.
Yet the circa 1970’s plastic thing had none of the charm of the little elf wind chime, or the collection of teddy bear ornaments that had already been chosen.
None of us really wanted it.
Yet nobody could quite let it go. Imagine some stranger at Salvation Army buying our Christmas memory? Unthinkable!
As we stood around the bed in the guest room, staring at our Christmas past, the solution suddenly became crystal clear.
We would pass it around.
Each year one of us would be gifted that lovely bit of plastic history and would have to (oops! I mean “get to”) display it that Christmas season.
And record it with a picture.
I was first.
It is now hanging in all it’s plastic glory in my sun room for all my guests to see.
Then, when Christmas is over, it will be carefully packed, ready to appear next Thanksgiving when another sibling will get to take it home.
Thus our Christmas past becomes a part of Christmas present and a new tradition is born from an old one.