Decorating our Christmas tree always fills me with a sweet feeling of nostalgia. We have very eclectic and unique ornaments that have been made, bought, and gifted to us since the day that we celebrated our first Christmas holiday as babies. My husband's first baby ornament and mine, hangs on our tree along side our son and daughter's very first Christmas ornaments.
Our parents shared a very similar tradition when it came to ornaments. They only hung ornaments that told a story or had a special significance to our lives. When my husband and I got married and celebrated our first Christmas together in our new house, our parents gave each us a large container of ornaments that they had been collecting for us over the years. Some years the ornaments were craft projects (Santa made out of a pinecone), other years they symbolized a family trip (caribbean cruise) and many reflect the many hobbies and interests that we each had growing up.
Collectively, our tree is filled with artists, water skiers, golfers, angels, carpenters, ball players, and one of my most prized ornaments of all, a little framed photo of my me and Grandma. (My Grandma was highlighted in a previous blip "Grandma's Glitter"). My Grandma was a very important woman in my life and every time I hang that special ornament, my heart hurts a little that she hasn't been alive to share our Christmas celebrations with us for many years now. I always hang this ornament at my eye level in the center of the tree. It makes me feel good to see it every time I walk up to admire our Christmas tree.
When my Mom gifted all of my saved ornaments to me, she included a very special tribute letter explaining each ornament, why that ornament was chosen for the particular year, and the most special part of the letter that I read over and over every single year......her feelings about me and how she and my Dad felt sharing their first Christmas with me. I love sentimental things. I love that my Mom took the time to create this letter full of memories for me to read and for me to be able to share with my children every year we unpack our ornaments to decorate the tree. My little boy and my little girl will each be receiving a letter like this from me as my husband and I gift them their childhood ornaments when they are established in their own homes. I want them to understand the feelings of nostalgia and I want them to get that warm and fuzzy feeling in their hearts when my son unpacks his prized Mickey Mouse ornament and my daughter hangs her infant shoe that she wore over and over again on her very own tree. I want Christmas to be as special for them, as it has been for us.
I would like to thank our parents for creating loving and memorable Christmas experiences for us throughout our lives. As Grandparents, they are enjoying the excitement and the magic of Christmas just like they did when we were little. I will never forget the phone call from my Dad last Christmas pretending to be Santa. These are memories that our children will cherish for a lifetime.