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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Decking the Halls with Old and New

Every year, in our old home, we had two trees set up for the Holidays. One would be the “pretty” tree, as my daughter used to refer to it, which I used to set up in a formal dining room – really just for eye candy. The other, over sized tree, stood tall and wide in our family room…and that was the one with the character. That was the one that every year, we all decorated together – with a wide assortment of family ornaments, hand-painted masterpieces and representations of milestones that continued to grow as our family grew and the years went on. 

When we moved, I had no problem tossing the boxes filled with the ornaments that used to hang from the formal tree. I did however keep those sentimental pieces that had defined our Holiday tradition for so many years. Needless to say, the old wooden horses etched with my first daughter’s birthday, the old rain-deer crafted from pipe cleaners and even a dried up orange covered in cloves that has since lost its once warm scent, remained with me.
 
This year, when I pulled out the box the box of Christmas stuff that had made it to our new home, my young granddaughter was right there with me. Each ornament that we pulled from the box had a crystal clear memory attached to it – a story about her mother, her uncles, her grandfather and myself. 

As she listened (as well as a five year old could), in her hand she held that little rain-deer made of pipe cleaners that her mom had made back in first grade, looked up at me and asked, “Dee, Dee- can I make you a new ornament for your tree?” 
I couldn’t help but smile. There she was – this little girl, reminding me that while there is so much of the past to treasure – there is also so much of the present to live. 

That afternoon, amongst a tree full of memories past – we hung our most recent masterpiece – a wooden sleigh made from popsicle sticks with a picture of me and my granddaughter glued on top.  

And, I have to say, sledding down this thing called life has never more fulfilling…

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