Sunday, December 12, 2010

Re-spinning traditions...

A childhood friend of mine relayed a conversation she and her daughters had one morning regarding the origin of the Christmas tree. She was curious to find out other's perceptions on the tradition and if we put one up for ourselves. This was my answer...

For a number of years after leaving home I didn't put up a tree-it just didn't happen for various reasons. I remember when I researched how the tradition started and I thought that maybe I should do away with a tree all together but then, just like so many things we do now, the original meaning and purpose (in the case of the tree--bringing in an evergreen to ward off evil spirits) has been so watered down to be rendered non-existent.

Since having children, we have put up a tree every year. And when I go through the ornaments I have and know that my mom and my sister share a lot of the same ones it brings them closer.

I talk to my children about where certain ones came from...tiny glazed pots from a trip their dad and I took to Portugal, hand painted wooden ones their Kokoo painted while waiting for me to be born, teddy bears I painted the Christmas we were in the States away from our belongings, there's one that looks just like our Sebastian Cat that we lost this year...

And we add new ones each year, each one adding to our story. I have wooden picture frames for us to paint next week and hang on the tree...and those memories will be added with the rest.

No, our Christmas tree does not ward off evil spirits.

But the memories it holds, the lights, the smell...remind me that it's Christmas and that we are truly and unmeasurably blessed.

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