I don’t often speak of one set of grandparents; I have three sets, my moms parents, my dads mom and step dad, and my dads dad and step mom. However, the set of grandparents I often don’t speak of, my dads mom and step dad, who ironically I was forced to live with and grow up with, did impart one Christmas Tradition on me, that has stuck with me, and I’m actually carrying out as an adult.
When they got their first Christmas tree together, they bought a bunch of cheap plastic filler ornaments. Nothing fancy or over the top, just cheap, quick and did the job. Every year they would replace some of those cheap ornaments with special ornaments that had meaning, or signified something. Most of us who are parents, get a gift of “Baby’s First Christmas Ornament” to lovingly put on our trees. So you have some idea of what I’m talking about.
My husband and I have had many Christmas’s together. However, I always had to have a fancy, everything matched tree, before we got married and had kids. Every year it was a different theme/color. Very “Home and Garden” if you will. Well, the year we got married and had our first son, that didn’t matter much to me any longer. I wanted our Christmas tree to really mean something, I remembered back to what this set of grandparents had done through the years. I remembered them telling us stories of the ornaments and what they meant, etc. Something at my core wanted to be able to have the same experience and memories with my children.
So, that year, I scrapped them themed/colorized ornaments, bought a tacky set of just cheap, plastic, basically junk ornament set from Walmart, and added a few special ones from that year. We got a First Married Christmas Ornament, babies first Christmas ornament for our oldest son, and a few other special ones. That was in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, and now in 2013 we have slowly started to replace those cheap ornaments with these beautiful, and meaningful ornaments.
I have gone an extra step, just because I’m a photographer and scrapbooker, and I’ve photographically documented the ornaments, and I place them in a scrapbook to review with my children when they are older.
Well, 2012 was a HORRIBLE year for me. My youngest son decided that he was not wanting to behave in my womb. I went from pre eclampsia to toxemia nearly overnight, and was induced 5 weeks early. That was in May. In July I lost my mother to cancer. In August I lost my best friend Ron to a drunk driver. In the beginning of September one of my grandmother’s, my dads step mom, passed from liver disease, and on my oldest sons second birthday my grandfather, my moms dad, passed away. Needless to say, our tree ornament collection grew quit a bit. We thought that we were done having children, so I got two sets of ornaments that were special for my boys as brothers. We got two large candy cane ornaments for them, as well as two trains for them, because they got a train table for Christmas.
We also added special ornaments for my moms, grandpa, grandma, and friend Ron’s passing’s. We added ornaments to honor my Aunt Dawn who passed in 2005. Every year we get a picture framed year ornament to place our family Christmas picture in for our tree.
Last year when my mom and grandpa passed, we decided that we wanted to start a tradition to honor them. Each year we decided that to keep their memories alive, that we would pick out a special ornament to remember them as a family, so we could talk about them.
Today I was feeling very blue, and missing my mother very much today. We decided to go to Kohl’s to spend our Kohl’s cash we had gotten this week after getting our Holiday outfits. I initially went in to get some holiday smelling candles. Well, they were on a HUGE sale, no where near close to the amount of Kohl’s cash we had to spend. We walked around and looked at some things, but happened upon the Christmas section. I wondered through the ornament section, when these beautiful angels caught my attention. My husband saw that they had caught my attention, and said that they would be beautiful to add to our tree this year, for our special ornaments.
I felt slightly bad that the kids were not with us to pick them out, however they were pretty perfect ornaments. I really needed to feel my mother’s presence today, so in honor of her, we did her favorite Christmas activity, and decorated the Christmas tree. My spirits were lifted a bit because of this. I did feel as if my mother was here. She would have loved to see Zechy walk away with the Christmas light string, and Jay put the Christmas star up on the top. It would have made her day to watch the boys put ornaments on our tree. It would have just made her day watching the tree come together, even with our Christmas star missing pieces. Some think we should get a new start/Christmas top, however it feels right, especially for now, since our family has a whole in our hearts. I think we will keep our broken star for just a tad bit longer.
A little bit of Christmas cheer in our house and White Christmas scent candles, bring a little bit more joy in my heart and a smile on my face.