Christmas Ornament Treasures!
Decorating the tree this year was a brand new experience for me. Since the beginning of my married life, my husband and I have had a tree trimming party each Christmas.
In the beginning, it was simply a way to get together with friends, and enjoy some holiday cheer. I remember our first Christmas together as a married couple. We were in a tiny apartment in Santa Monica, and we invited people over to trim our little tree, excited to entertain for our first Christmas.
Robert invited one of his best friends from Law School, who had never been to a tree trimming party, and had never celebrated Christmas. She accepted our invitation, and came to the party, ready to trim -- with a pair of scissors! She thought that trimming the tree, really meant trimming the branches!!!! Such a fun memory. That dear friend is still in our lives today, and has attended many more tree trimming Christmas parties -- sans scissors!
When we moved into our first house, we continued to have tree trimming parties, but we also had children and neighbors that would help, and so the tradition continued.
In 1987 we moved into our current home, and I remember saying to Robert, "that's the house for us because those ceilings will allow us to have the best Christmas tree ever!" And the first Christmas that we had a fresh12 foot tree in our home, I remember falling asleep that night, smelling the pine as it wafted in to the bedroom, and feeling like the luckiest person alive.
As the years went by, we realized that a real tree was more difficult, (how to transport it? how to dispose of it?) and that the challenges were not just labor intensive, but also expensive. So we switched to an artificial tree, and while I miss the scent of the pine, it's no doubt that it's much easier.
The one thing that hasn't been ameliorated with an artificial tree -- is how to trim a 12 foot beauty, especially when there are thousands of ornaments!
The answer to that remains -- a tree trimming party! We have had so many fabulous parties each year to trim our 12 foot tree. I am not particular about where the ornaments go on the tree, so once the boxes are open it's really a free for all. And with a dozen people it only takes about an hour! But trimmers really have to work -- no dawdling allowed!
The one thing that I try to avoid - is ornament breakage - so I have a few trusted trimmers who take on the glass ornament detail. We have the little ones use the ornaments in the unbreakable bin, and the young adults climb the ladder to trim the top of the tree.
After the all the ornaments are on the tree (yes -- all the ornaments go up every year), we sit back, and have a tree lighting, with hot chocolate, whip cream, and Christmas cookies. We gaze at the tree, take pictures, and feel lucky all over again that we are so blessed.
This year, though, none of that happened. It was just me and the tree, with an assist from the hubby. But you know what? I feel just as lucky this year, as I have every other year. And very, very blessed.