I am one of those people who has no issue with Christmas stuff being out before Halloween. I could spend hours in hobby and craft stores—in fact, I have. I can look at something and go "oh I can make something with that" or I will sift through the ornaments and find that just right one for a special person or the one that is so off the wall I just have to put it on my tree. Or maybe I find something that sparks an idea for one of my tabletop Christmas trees. And don't even get me started on Christmas music. I could listen year round. Hubby, however, does not share my enthusiasm for the season, so I have to wait until he is outside to play my music.
But mainly, I love my Christmas tree and all the ornaments on it. Almost every one of them has a story. Some were gifts, some were made by my children, and others I bought. I can remember when my oldest grandson first helped me decorate the tree. He was fascinated by the ornaments and associated stories. When the other grandchildren were old enough to help, he would tell them each story as they placed an ornament on the tree. How I cherish those precious memories.
Before I retired, I left my tree up one year because I was traveling so much I didn't have time to take it down. Before you know it, March rolled around and the tree was still up, so I left it that way. The kids were kinda disappointed because they looked forward to the ritual of decorating it, so we came up with Plan B —they would simply rearrange the ornaments. Sadly, they are all older now; some are on their own, so that ritual, too, has gone by the wayside. Oh how I miss those times. My tree is up to this day. Sometimes, I turn the lights on and just sit there looking at it as the memories warm my soul. It's a way to keep that happy Christmas feeling around all year.
I'd like to share with you a poem I wrote over 30 years ago about my affinity for ornaments and my tree.
Pieces of My Heart
I never truly realized
How much they mean to me
Until I thought about each ornament
Nestled in my Christmas tree.
Some are very expensive,
Fine gifts chosen with care.
Grandmother's antique pieces
Can also be found there.
Some were made my children
And their worth cannot be measured.
Memories conjured by the sight
Are memories warm and treasured.
Each one is very different
With a story all it's own;
Each one a special memory
Of a Christmas long since gone.
I don't expect you to understand
Just what it means to me—
This piece of wood and greenery
Known as a Christmas tree.
But of all the trees in all the world
Surely mine must stand apart
For in its fragrant branches
Lie tiny pieces of my heart.