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An Ornament's Tale: A Christmas tree time line
Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Dec 18, 2011. 1614 views. ID = 5252

An Ornament's Tale

Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Dec 18, 2011. 1614 views. ID = 5252
This post was written in 18 minutes.
Memories of our Christmas past
This post has been awarded 15 stars by 3 readers.

When we first married, my wife treated our Christmas Trees as works of art. We decorated them under her direction and good taste; every decoration had a feng shui placing. Almost every piece had to be hung and rehung until that perfect spot was found. Tinsel could only be placed by her, as it was too delicate of a job to be done by us mere mortals. In the end, I was always amazed at what she could accomplish with the few ornaments we had and the scrawny trees we could afford.

After the kids came along it became their job to decorate and no matter where or what they placed on the tree that was where it stayed. My wife would shutter as she looked at the finished product but I loved it. One branch might have seven bobbles on it and the next none, tinsel was usually flung on by the handfuls. My job was to hang the lights, referee who placed what, and to hang the angel on the top. Those trees were my favorite and when I look at old Christmas pictures, I believe it's because you can easily see that the kids decorated them by themselves.

Now that the kids have grown up and gone, I find we don't have the energy or the patience to decorate as my wife likes and so it's left to me. We now have a 'real' looking fake tree with the lights already strung and instead of shopping for one all I need do is take it out of the box and assemble it. Instead of tinsel, which is too much work to put on and then take off we now use garland and once I became accustomed to it, I liked it better. It's the decorations that make it a labor of love and every year it's a trip down memory lane. As I open the boxes we keep them in I'm awash in a flood of nostalgia and each one has a special place in my heart. Of course, we have the balls but we have many eclectic ones as well. Many have nothing to do with Christmas, such as miniature ladies shoes, or a tiny cocktail shaker and matching martini glasses, even a pair of silly birds dressed as burlesque dancers but they all mean a lot to me and my Christmas tree wouldn't be the same without them. I still hang all the handmade ones the kids gave us as well as the few we have left from our parents.

So here I am four hundred plus words into my story and not one word about my favorite decoration, (I guess I can add that to my list of reasons I can't write for a living). I have to say my favorite didn't start out that way; it was a gift from an aunt who, at the risk of sounding indelicate, was my least favorite. Just a simple ball inscribed, 'Your first Christmas together', along with the date. To be honest it's the wrong color and never seemed to fit in with the wife's perfect tree and so it was always hidden in the back or down low. However now I look at that silly ball and the date and think this has been on every tree we've had, every year down through the ages. It is has bridged the times between difficult and easy, fat and lean. Probably the only thing that has remained the same in our marriage is that year after year, we always have a Christmas tree and every tree has had that ornament on it. Now every Christmas as I place that old bauble on the tree with its inscription so faded it's hardly legible, I think of my aunt so long gone now and thank her for a gift most precious, a gift of memories. One other note, that special ball is now placed up front and center on our tree, an honor it has long deserved.

Copyright 2011 R. Wesley Lovil. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 15 stars by 3 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: An Ornament's Tale

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