My Christmas tree is a little wonky-looking. A bit oddly shaped, no matter how I fluff it, stubbornly refusing to stand up straight in the rotating base. It has a bit of a wobbly jewelry-box ballerina pirouette going on as it twirls round and round slightly askew. But I love how my wonky tree sparkles as it does its little lopsided twirly dance.
I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely “feeling it” in the decorating department this year, so only planned to put out my little ceramic lighted Christmas tree that my grandma made for me years ago. But, as love would have it, our four Madison grandkids stopped by with their parents on Friday to help give me the little decorating nudge I needed. Their exuberant joy in helping their grandma added extra sparkle to both our tree and our day.
We downsized a bit when we replaced our artificial tree a few years ago, opting for a slimmed down, pre-lit version. With a smaller tree, I decided to edit the ornament collection too — only my very favorites and those with sentimental ties remain.
Just like every other year, as I gingerly lifted the various ornaments from the red and green plastic storage tubs, I found myself unwrapping memories along with the sparkly, tissue and bubble-wrapped baubles. As I entrusted each ornament into the hands of one of my grandones, I enjoyed a bit of reminiscing and re-telling the stories of some of my ornaments.
I have a few snowmen on the tree — some antique glass or fragile plastic, handed down from one of our mothers; one intricately crocheted, complete with top hat, red scarf and a broom. My favorite snowman by far, is the one my hubby purchased for our very first Christmas together. It’s a whimsically colorful carrot-nosed guy with wire-rim glasses, holding a tennis racket and a can of snowballs. He’s made of paper mache and kind of fragile with age now (44 years!). Every year that I unwrap him looks like it will be his last; yet somehow, Mr. Snowman survives another year to symbolize the snowman that we newlywed love-birds built together in the courtyard just outside of Apartment #16’s front door.
Of course, our children added many ornaments to our trees throughout the years. Most of those have since been gifted back to our kids, with a few still gracing our tree. Now it’s the grandkids’ turn to make ornaments for Grandma Cindie and Papa’s tree. As each of our six grandchildren entered our lives, I added a silver initial and a baby photo ornament to commemorate the special blessing they each have added to our family. This year, Violet, Charlie, Henry, and George found their own favorite spot to hang their ornaments on the tree. Violet hung the ornaments for her cousins Mia and Noelle, who could not be here to help. Oh, how this grandma’s heart longs to see them soon.
Grandson Henry secretively stole away to my craft room during tree decorating so he could make a special ornament for the tree. I love my yellow pipe-cleaner guy and the newest handmade memory for our tree.
Somehow, our ornament hooks became a laughable, hopelessly jumbled up mess. It kind of reminded my family of the year 2020. Youngest grandson George (age 8) decided it should have a place on our tree of memories.
This is my first Christmas without my sweet Momma. She went Home to be with Jesus in May, so this ornament gifted to me by BeeHive’s activity director, Kathleen, is super special.
Eldest grandson Charlie was in wide-eyed amazement as to how many of my ornaments have glitter on them. Practically all of them! I guess I’m drawn to glitter and things that sparkle. George kept washing his hands to get the glitter off. Of course it clung all the more to his less than dry hands, but he was a good sport.
2020 was tough for us all and it sure didn’t sparkle very much, but tucked in with the trials and sadness, there was glitter sprinkled here and there. 2021 doesn’t look like it will sparkle much either, but I am purposing in my heart to find ways to add a little glitter to my world and bring a little sparkle to the lives of others.
In 2021, let’s be sure to look for the glitter. Better yet, let’s look for ways to BE the glitter.