Sunday, December 28, 2008

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

OK, so I will keep an eye out for a lower table for next year. I do like having the tree in front of the window. It's a back window, so there are no issues with safety, etc.

(I will also get some better curtains made. I just threw these up because I needed to cover the window so I don't have to look out at the junkyard that is my back garden. I bought a bolt of this gauze when it was on sale at Walmart for $1/yard.)

I kind of got discouraged with ornaments. When I split up with the Infamous Jude, I never could get anyone from the county sheriff's office to go with me to get my stuff, so, eventually, he brought it to my workplace late at night. He threw it off his truck in the alley behind the store, getting me fired in the process. He did include a bag of Christmas ornaments, but the ornaments were not mine, they were his. I guess he either kept (unlikely) or trashed (probably) mine.

All the little things the kids made in school, and the ones I made, and the ones that Grandma gave the babies, and the ones I bought each year for each child.


I had been slowly building up a new collection, lacking, of course, the paper plate angels and the popsicle-stick picture frames. After a few years with Jim, mine and his became inextricably mixed. It didn't matter, of course. Now it does.

For Addy, Christmas ornaments were family heirlooms. she had some saved from her own grandmother. Decorating the tree was an emotional roller coaster for Jim, remembering what year he got which ornament in his stocking, or how his Dad bought that one because he liked old cars, etc.

Not my stories, not my memories.

Boxes and boxes of ornaments to be searched and sorted into "Prior's" and "Ronni's."

Not happening last year or this year.

So, last year I pulled out one box at random. It turned out to be a box of "rejects" from the year before. You know--the pine-cone-and-glitter corsage that is perfect if you have a hole and run out of nicer things. I had added a few that Brendan's friends had given him, and some from friends in The Gaggle (Hi, Gaggle!) and ended up with a very pretty tree, infused with new memories. This year, I revelled in the new colours of glass balls available--bronze and light green, etc., and bought quite a few.

I honestly don't think there is one "Prior" ornament on the tree this year. Just as using them made Jim sad, so it makes me sad, too, now that he is gone.

So, it's glass balls and Christmas card "ormanents," and lovely things hand made by friends that trim my cheerful little tree this year, and in all the years to come.

I hope it's a Good Thing...


  1. It's really quite a nice tree, Ronni -- other than the table being a tad too high -- very shapely.

    I so get what you mean about your "own" ornaments. Every one on my tree holds a special memory for me. The great majority are homemade. The ones the youngsters made over the years have a beauty all their own.

    As each child was born, (we have four) I embroidered a Christmas stocking ornament for them - complete with their name and year of birth. They are stitched on felt (white on the front and their own special color on back) and stuffed with quilt batting -- quite complex stitching too - would take me many hours to do one - they are about 4 inches tall.

    Some how, #1 son's went missing. I was (still am) heartbroken. The only thing I can figure is that it accidently got thrown out with the tree in 1993. I did replace it but it doesn't hold the same "magic" as did the original -- and I am reminded of that every year too. (in my own thoughts) To me, they are priceless.

    When the children were young, we would videotape them placing their special stocking on the tree. As each leaves the nest, I attach their ornament as the gift tag on their present from me. (inside is their own Advent calander - also from their first Christmas)

    It is my hope that these ornaments continue to decorate trees for many years to come. I still have a wee plastic Santa that was given to me by my great-grandmother more than 50 years ago. Even though I don't remember her, I tell our kids the story of it every year. (They do well not to overtly roll their eyes!)

    Hopefully, the story of these l'il stockings will be related to my great grandchildren.

    While nothing can replace the ones from yesteryear, here's to hoping that new additions grow special meaning for you .. CHEERS!


  2. Your tree looks beautiful, Ronni. A far more practical shape than ours, which is too wide at the bottom and takes up too much space.

    Once the festivities are over, I'm going to show my grandson how to make those decorations you made for charity. They look stunning.

  3. Heh. I thought the tree was too skinny! It does have lots of branches, though, for being as narrow as it is.

    I got it for a ridiculously cheap price; a pre-lit tree, over 5', for $20. I think it was mis-marked, but I didn't argue. I bought it year before last, but last year was the first time I used it.

  4. Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year, Ronni.

  5. Same to you, Mgt!

    I'm off to Vanessa's to babysit. taking my camera this time!

  6. It's a great tree! I was in a terrible state this year and didn't even get our little 4-footer put up until a day or two before Will got home.And most ornaments are not on it. I took the 6 foot artificial tree to the Goodwill this year in a fit of cleaning out the garage. Got it when Em was a baby, no kids home now to help decorate it, so I wanted someone else to enjoy it if they could. My mom and sister are so clever with decorating trees. They pick a theme and do it well. This year my sister decorated hers with her own white paper stars she made and angels and it sounds corny but it was really pretty. One year, many years ago, my mom decorated our tree with all natural small gourds and pinecones and dried strange flowers and it was really cool looking. I just don't have their knack for pulling things together like that. Happy new year to you and yours! As far as I'm concerned, New Year's day really begins on January 20, and I will be partying HARDY all day!!! ...tracie