Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Christmas Tree...

As we were decorating the Christmas Tree last night, I was struck by what our tree really means to us at Christmas.
We didn't put it up last year, because we were out of town, and so there was this kind of space in the succession of memories that we have of decorating over the years. It is interesting because the boys have mentioned several times over the past year how they missed doing the tree.
This year we made a real family event of it. Brendan helped me "build" the tree,

and then the boys all came up and they did all the decorating.

They were having so much fun as each ornament came out of it's little box.
We would talk about where each one had come from, who had given it to us, or where we had gotten it and why.

Each of the boys has a First Christmas ornament that they got from Grandma Susie and Grandpa Dick. They look for them each year.

John's was a train, of course.

This one is Brendan's.

Paul's smiling bear....

We added one for Maggie this year. She's not a kid, of course, but she IS the newest member of the family and the boys thought it was fun.

There are ornaments that our friends have given us, or have made for us.

These bring those special people to our hearts and minds at Christmas, and always will. They are a part of the fabric of our lives, even though they may be far away.

There are some that we have gotten while we were doing something special.
This one is from the Christmas Museum up in Pennsylvania.

Some of them have been in the family for years. I can't take pictures of all of them...
The girls took theirs home last year, or the year before and they put them up on their own trees.
They take a little bit of their past with them.
It is a very important ritual for our kids as each year passes. They realize that they have roots, traditions and an identity, and it can be seen as they put each ornament on that tree.
They belong to someone, and to something, greater than this earthly existence and that is why we do all of this. I am so glad that we have all the wonderful little treasures to take out and remember each year.
It's all part of the mystery that is how God loves His family.

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