The Magic of Christmas Ornaments
I thought about not putting up my Christmas tree this year. A tree would be beautiful, all lit up after dark, but I live alone. My son is grownup with his own family. I have an artificial tree so it was do-able. It would’ve been out of the question if I had to wrestle a real tree up my front porch steps and through the door, let alone get it in a stand and upright. But the question was: what’s the point?
But, after a few days, I decided to go ahead. The task of assembling and decorating the tree in its usual spot meant getting my 6 foot, 30-plus year old fichus tree upstairs, which was no mean feat. I had thought about leaving it downstairs, stringing a few lights and adding some decorations, but it wouldn’t be the same.
I found a big black garbage bag and wrapped it around the pot so the dirt wouldn’t fall out and then used a bungee cord around the branches. It was still a matter of thumping up one stair step at a time. When I reached mid-way I was having second thoughts. By the fifteenth and last step I was pretty pooped and breathing heavy. By then it was just a matter of dragging the tree down the hall and into my office.
After the fichus was settle in, I went to the back corner of the basement and grabbed one of the two large plastic bins that hold my Christmas tree. After I carried it up the stairs I went back for the second one and then back again for the bigger bin of ornaments, lights and tinsel.
Wrapped in tissue, were eight flat, wooden ornaments that are all that’s left of a set of twelve. I’d bought them when I was single, poor and living in a little upstairs apartment. I didn’t have the money for pretty glass ornaments but found a paint-them-yourself kit on sale. I cherished each one as I hung them up.
The ornament that touched my heart the most was a little popsicle-stick sled my son made in kindergarten with his name spelled out in green glitter. Another one of my favorites was a crocheted teddy bear bought in Ludington during a family summer vacation.
And when I hang the round Wizard of Oz bulb, I remember a lost friend.
For the weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year memories of family, friends and special places sparkle every night in the glow of multi-colored lights. Although the Christmas tree was beautiful once it was assembled and decorated, it wasn’t the tree that held meaning for me so much as it was the ornaments. How could I ever think of not decorating my Christmas tree?
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