Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Tree

I put more decorations on the tree - actually, that's what I've been doing for the last two and a half hours. I kept thinking I was done, but then I would see a bare spot. When I decided I was really done I went to the basement to take some ornament boxes and discovered an unopened ornament box.

Of course I had to bring it up and go through it. Last year I didn't use all my ornaments and missed some of my favorites. I knew there were two boxes I didn't open last year. Well, this was one of them and I got to rediscover some of my cherished ornaments.

In that box were two glass balls that Mia beaded around that I like to have near the top of the tree. Also, a little teapot ornament that a former board member gave me one year. It also had the ornament I bought at Monticello and a glass star I got at Kate's Paperterie in NYC.

It also had a painted ceramic bell my friend Leah's son, Zach, did when he was about five. He's almost 15 now. Another gift from a friend's child, David Naylor's daughter, Ariana, gave me a dough star with glitter on it when she was little. Well, actually, it was really her mom, Kristin, who gave it to me but I have treasured it all these years. That was probably 12 years ago.

I didn't look at the tag on it, but I do try to tag things with the date and names so I don't have to guess how long it has been. If people give me an ornament and it has a name tag on the gift I try to just save the tag. But, I also just buy little tags that I add to the ones I can't write on.

Decorating the tree is always such a memory-rich experience for me. There are ornaments people have given me, and things I've picked up on trips. There are things people have made, and things they selected specifically for me. I love them all.

I cannot imagine not wanting to have a Christmas tree. It will be a sign to me that I'm getting old if I ever don't want to put up a tree. It's always an indication to me that someone has entered another phase of life when they choose not to decorate. It's something I associate with elderly people, although I know many older people who still decorate trees. My mom did every year.

Of course, sometimes you have to scale back for one reason or another. When I was house-hunting I didn't decorate extensively because I realized I could be moving at any time.

But it's one of the things I love to have - a beautiful, sparkling, bright, cheery Christmas tree. Mine is ready for the icicles and then it will be done. I will try to post some pix soon.

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