Many of my favorite Christmas memories are related to Christmas trees. I suppose every family has something special they do for Christmas; our parents gave us the gift of unparalleled Christmas trees.
At some point in time I “adopted” a special ornament. I don’t remember what it was about this particular ornament that attracted me so much. Perhaps it was the color; perhaps its fragility made me want to preserve it. Whatever the reason, I vividly remember searching anxiously through the Christmas decorations each year to find one particular ornament. I then hung it on the tree in a special place, usually high up so none of my younger brothers and sisters would be able to touch it. As time passed I came up with protective wrapping for this ornament, and placed it in a certain place in the box when it was time to pack things away after the holiday.
Somehow I still have this ornament. As I was unpacking decorations this year I saw the container I put it in all those years ago and decided to show it to my children. I gathered them around me and told them the story of how I cared for this ornament year after year after year.
I must have told the story well, for their eyes were wide with anticipation when I finally reached into the can to pull the ornament out.
There it sat in the palm of my hand, a hollowed out egg that must be over 25 years old at this point. It’s blue color is unfaded after many years, but the egg is slowly crumbling.
I’m guessing what appealed to me about this egg was the obvious time required to produce it. From the hollowing of an egg to the dye to the little bell hanging inside, I must have been attracted by it’s miniature proportions. Holding it in my hand a few weeks ago I couldn’t help but think that the little girl sitting inside wasn’t all that cute.
I looked up at the faces of my children. They were terribly disappointed, as if I’d finally gone crazy. My eight year old said, in an unimpressed voice, “You took care of that?”
Well, that was the end of show and tell for the day, but it was certainly the beginning of some laughter. I had to agree with her. In fact, her words reminded me of a comment my Mom made years ago along the same lines. What was once such a treasure to me is clearly now rather ugly, but it represents a special memory for me. It’s a part of my childhood, and now it’s also a part of my motherhood thanks to the brutal honesty of my children and the laughter that followed.
Perspective. Funny how it changes things as we grow up!
Do you have quirky Christmas memories too?