The simple joys of childhood at Christmas. This time of year typically causes us all to reflect on our family life growing up. I was very blessed, as I’ve mentioned before, to have been part of a great, caring and loving family. Sure, we had our problems and quirks just like any other family, but we had a foundation of love – mentioned or not – and that was one of the ties that bound us together.
Some of my memories at this time of year are special ones. I remember after having decorated the house for Christmas, I would often just cuddle up on the couch and gaze at the wonder of the decorations.
The tree was very special. We always had a real one, but never anything fancy. It wasn’t ever a Charlie Brown tree, but it was also never a Noble Fir. Usually just an average pine bought at the local department store lot.
Decorating the tree was always a family affair. There were too many cool things to miss out on if you didn’t help. We had tons of great ornaments. Mom would buy one set of new ornaments each Christmas and would diligently write the year on each box so we would all know when they were bought. Some were tacky, some were cool, some were kind of lame, but they all played a part in the memories of each Christmas as we put them up.
We would put the lights on first. These were smaller version of the outdoor lights that got hot and caused more than a few burn spots on our rug over the years. Mom usually had to put these up while we waited impatiently to start doing everything else.
There were the ornaments each of us kids had made at one time in a grade school class that were so important to have in plain sight. Mine was a little cutout of my singing head glued on a wooden sherbet spoon wrapped with a construction paper angel robe and stovepipe harms holding a hymnal… I was a little angel!
There was the collection of handmade Santa Clauses. There were some from all four of us kids: the ones with rotating arms and legs using paper fasteners; the ones just cutout, the ones with cotton glued on for the beard, coat sleeves and waist and the top of the boots. All of them meticulously colored (quality dependent on our age at the time of creation) and all with our names and the date written on the back. There were even a couple from when my mom was a kid… still carefully preserved and hung with pride every year.
There were the construction paper links garland that my brother and I made as a gift for the family one year; and the handmade needlecraft ornaments from my Nana; and the special top that we put on every year.
We all loved hanging tinsel – we called them icicles – and we had the old boxes of the ones that had *gasp* LEAD in them. They weren’t the cheap mylar ones you get today so they hung straight and were beautiful – oh, and none of us, or our cats who liked to eat them – ever had an illnesses due to lead poisoning.
The tree was the center of our decorations and a focal point of the house during the Christmas season. What memories do you have of your family Christmas tree?
- Blast from the Past
- Hi, I'm Darryll and I live in Pullman, Washington with my wife and two kids. I'm a licensed Architect and am employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, I have my own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. I am a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and am involved in the music department at my local church.