Tradition. Something that I may hold closer to my heart than others. There were high hopes of fond memories being built today; hopes of togetherness, hopes that my husband and children would be equally as excited as I to trim our tree. It didn't take long to realize that I, obviously, have much stronger feelings for this sort of thing than the rest. As I sort through all the Christmas ornaments, carefully packaged away with great diligence and great love, all the memories flood into my head of the exact day I chose certain ornaments. I think of the meaning behind childhood ornaments given to me by my grandparents or ones my parents chose for me so long ago. I tenderly remove the ornaments from bubble wrap, boxes, tissue paper, and I carefully examine each one. Some show cracks- evidence of the passing years, some are immaculate despite their age, some with fading colors, or others vibrant from a fresh year's purchase.
Each one is placed with purpose on individual branches. Some low- safe for curious wondering little fingers, others hung up high because of age, sentimental value, brilliance! Then you have those that don't take as much care with the visible memory in their hands. Popping open a box to send our 1st Christmas ornament flying through the room to take a shattering crash onto the coffee table. Crushed. I stood their feeling defeated like the father from "The Christmas Story" movie. You know what I'm talking about don't you? When Ralphie's mother goes to water her plant and purposefully broke the "major award"-although I know it wasn't on purpose, at that exact minute it sure felt like it. When I could finally gain my composure, I look up at my husband to see an "oh well" look on his face. Not a care, no remorse, no longing for that important ornament to return to its pristine state of that big glass ball. Nothing. His nonchalant response was what drove the knife right to my heart.
No more then 10 minutes later did Samuel tell me he broke his sister's BRAND NEW ORNAMENT. Just kick me! Kick me while I'm down... go ahead do it! I felt like I got the ole 1-2 to the gut, an upper cut to the chops and BAM! Down for the count! Have you ever had that moment where that little fire deep within starts building, you can feel it build and
It was done. The glow of Christmas tradition was snuffed out of the room. After I calmed myself down I came back out to the living room, turned on some very serene Christmas music (George Winston's December) and hung the rest of the ornaments all alone. Hopefully this isn't the year our Christmas tradition my four year old and two year old boys burn into their memory banks- "the year mommy flew off the Coo Coo's nest". Next year is sure to be more pleasant, but for now I'm going to sit in peace and recall past and present memories of decorating the Christmas tree. :o)