Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Favorite Time of Year

Merry Christmas. Happy holiday. Whatever your preferred greeting for this wonderful time of the year, I wish you the best. To tell a secret, I don't understand the big hoopla about the greetings. They basically mean the same thing after all. Christmas being shortened from Christ Mass which some still practice while holiday was changed from Holy Day. I really confuses me is that it causes such discord at a time when this has been a time of peace for the world. I do not think it should be mandatory for people to have to use one or the other at work. Oh, well, everyone has to do what they feel is right in their heart, so let's get back to the celebrating of the season.

You have heard many times how Christmas traditions have changed through the years. This is very true and, in my opinion, many of them are not for the best. However, I am going to share with you a story that brings some traditions from our past Christmas that were brought to the present this year.

We have a Christmas tree this year. For many years, we have celebrated in the homes of our children for various reasons. Having moved closer to them due to health issues, we asked if we could celebrate at our house. We brought boxes of decorations unseen for years. After Thanksgiving, three grandsons were here and we began unpacking. I knew just where the tree was, I thought, except all that was found was more decorations. Living 150 miles from where things are stored, there wasn't really a way to go look for it.

Memories flooded to mind of when our children were young. There was a tree farm close and we would go every year to cut our tree. It was always fun to watch them pick out a tree that was bigger when we got it home then it seemed in a field. Why don't we do this with our grandchildren this year?

Black Friday was not spent rushing through stores fighting for something to buy. Five adults and five children (aged 9, 9, 7, 6, 5) trekked to a tree farm. We missed the other family members who couldn't be there. It was such a special time. The tree was picked. Some of the older children helped Grandpa cut it down. Shaken to get out dry needles, wrapped in netting, and paid for, we headed home.

Choosing the perfect tree.

There the experience continued. The men trimmed the branches and secured in the stand adding the lights and tinsel. Ornaments covered the tree one by one as the young ones hang them with the help of their moms while stories told about them were shared. "These are the original ornaments Grandma and Grandpa started with." "That one was one I made." "Yes, that is your mom. She made that in school." "Those? A friend made those for us." "Yes, you have one like that. When your parents married, we gave them some that we thought they would like." Soon it looked beautiful with all the memories hanging there.

But it didn't end there. Oh, no. Grandpa had gone to the store for one thing and returned with icicles - a 2000 count box per child. The tree was soon covered with sparkling shiny silver icicles.

Admiring their handiwork.

It was a great day with many new experiences for grandchildren and memories for everyone. I hope it is one they will remember and talk about for years to come, maybe sharing the story with their children and grandchildren.

My mom had the excitement of a child this time of year. I listened to her memories over the years creating a fascination of  family  traditions in me. Share some of your traditions with us. I would love to read them.