Today I’m linking up with JJ, (or as you may know her The Blah Blah Blahger) for her “Tales From the Tree” linkup, which is creating space for us to share about our favorite Christmas ornaments and the stories that they tell.
This is a “sort of repost” from Nov of 2011, but it’s been so edited and so many of you are new here, that I’m confident you’ll love it anyway.
Growing up, Christmas was my favorite day of the year. I could always count on Christmas to be a good day in our family.
My Dad was the Christmas King. I miss him at Christmas most of all and my heart always spends a good deal of time wondering what Christmas would be like if he was still around.
Every year we would head out as a family to a local Christmas tree farm to hunt down that years evergreen centerpiece.
Then we would head home and haul the ornaments out of the basement while my Dad spent an hour in the garage, snipping away at the tree to even out the branches. He was a perfectionist so I’m telling you that this part always seemed to take forever.
When the tree had a proper haircut, he would bring the tree inside and pray it stood up straight in it’s trunk, and about 50% of the time it did, and the other 50% of the time he ended up screwing the stand into the floorboards.
Then began the tediousness of watching him painstakingly wrap the tree in at least a dozen strands of lights. As a child, every year I remember sitting on the couch wondering if my chance to decorate the tree would ever arrive.
Finally the moment came where my mother would carefully unwrap each ornament as hand them off to us as we hung every ornament, each one a memory, onto the branches of our tree.
But, there was one ornament that we saved for last. The one that we saved the highest, most perfect branch for, my Dad’s favorite ornament, Cosmic Santa.
I don’t know the whole story behind him, but I know that he was a gift from my Dad’s mother, my Grandma Verkaik and that he made my Dad laugh.
When they asked me if there was anything I wanted sent from my parents house the Christmas after my mom died, Cosmic Santa was what I asked for.
Now he oversees our Christmas traditions here in Oklahoma. I had to hot glue his helmet a little bit last year before I hung him up. He’s getting up there in years, but I’m determined that he sees decades more Christmases with our family.
I even gave Kel a passionate lecture about how important he is to me, how Cosmic santa is kind of a big deal, and how when we unwrap him every year, he is required to make a big fuss as we hang him on the top branch. This is non negotiable for me.
Every year, after tree is decorated, I pour myself a glass of red wine and allow my eyes to gaze over all the colorful and mismatched ornaments that grace our branches. These Ornaments tell my story and many of them are gifts from my Grandma, who has been buying me Hallmark ornaments every year since I was born.
There’s a key from our first Christmas in our new home, a blinged-out acorn we picked out on a date night, and some pinecones we gathered on a winter walk while I was pregnant with Noelle.
They all bring back sweet memories from my journey, and Cosmic Santa soars over it all to remind me of where I come from, and the good parts of my family history that I am determined to carry into the future.
So when I look at his silver jet pack and bubbly helmet, instead of longing for what we’ve lost, I commit to building beautiful and lasting Christmas memories. Memories that will become a foundation for my children to build on someday as they sip wine, with bedroom full of sleeping children, and take in their own grown up Christmas trees.
What’s your favorite ornament and what story does it tell?