One of the most enjoyable aspects of decorating a Christmas tree is, for me, getting out all the boxes of ornaments every year. Once again I discover what I have. My absolute favorite ornaments are the ones the children made years ago. Those ornaments are priceless because the years have passed quickly by and those ornaments recall many great memories.
The candy cane ornament made from red and white beads threaded onto a pipe cleaner. The green felt Christmas tree with gold sequins. The white Styrofoam ball with glitter and sequins glued thereon. The green construction paper stocking with cotton glued across the top with a generous sprinkling of gold glitter. A cross-stitched ornament of Mary and Joseph and Jesus from “Walk through Bethlehem” at First United Methodist Church in Orlando. The minister’s wife gave them to the children that year.
Christmas ornaments with a legacy
I give each of my grandchildren an ornament every year. This year I gave my oldest granddaughter a redbird ornament. I wrote a children’s book to go with it. It tells the true story of why redbirds were special to “Grandma Pam” and “Great Grandma Charlotte.” I gave the youngest granddaughter an angel ornament. I wrote a children’s book to go with that one as well. It tells the true story about an encounter my children and I had with an angel years ago. Ah, yes. Christmas ornaments with a legacy.
The first task at hand when bringing in the Christmas tree every year is getting it in the stand. Next, of course, is the chore of getting the lights on the tree. Said chore inevitably involves untangling Christmas lights and plugging them in to be sure none of the bulbs are burned out. Ultimately, at our house, Daddy got the lights on the tree. I don’t ever remember him struggling with tangled lights. When he got the lights on the tree, we all stood back and admired the tree before putting on the ornaments.
It is so much fun riding around looking at Christmas lights. On the way to Grandma’s house, out in the country, it seemed tacky lights were everywhere. As a child I used to wonder why anybody would decorate their front yard like that. However, it was fun seeing those displays. Tacky lights are everywhere, even on Habersham Road, in the posh Buckhead community of Atlanta. Christmas lights are an integral part of celebrations everywhere.
The Nativity scene
Every year, on the Saturday right after school was out for Christmas, Mama and I would thoroughly clean the house. Then she pulled down the attic door and let me climb up the stairs and hand down all the boxes of decorations to her.
After retrieving all the boxes of decorations, Mama let me put out the Nativity scene. Every year, without fail, I wanted that done first. That was a way to put Jesus first in our family’s Christmas activities. Even as a child, I felt very strongly about that.
That Nativity scene was nothing expensive or elaborate, just a cardboard nativity with plastic figures. Many times, I dropped one of the wise men, horrified that his head came off. Mama patiently glued the head back on.
Mama instructed me to put the Nativity scene on an end table in the living room. The lamps would be off. The Christmas lights would be on. With reverence I looked at the Nativity scene. I considered the camel, wondering if such an animal existed.
I loved the Nativity scene, so Mama gave it to me when I was grown. I still have it.
It is well that we keep traditions such as collecting Christmas ornaments, decorating the Christmas tree, and putting out the Nativity scene. In so doing, we make great new memories and remain connected to each other.
Native Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal and welcomes email to her at email@example.com.