Monday, December 17, 2012
It's a little faded and frail but this ornament has hung on my Christmas trees all my life. In a way, it's an honor to be the keeper of its history and to be able to unwrap it every year and find a place to hang it on the tree. It's well over a 100 years old now and yet it seems to be caught in time, not really aging anymore. Maybe because for 11 months of the year it's gently swathed in tissue paper and tucked away in the plastic tote of decorations. How it came to be a part of my Christmas tradition is a story in itself, one my mother told me from the time I was old enough to understand. It's a story of hardship and struggle, in a time when life was much different that it is now in the 21st century. It's also a story of unexpected love and caring. Some years ago, I decided to write the story down, so its history wouldn't be lost, as so many family stories are when the those who know the stories best have passed from this life. Then the story was also tucked away in a file cabinet, as so many stories are when the author isn't sure what to do with them.
Years went by and although I didn't forget the story, I also didn't do anything with it. The ornament has been brought out and hung with care every year and then put away with the rest of the holiday trappings. The story could easily have been lost when no one was left to tell it. But I've decided this year will be different. This year I resurrected the filed away story and thought I would put it here, so that it will in some respect be read and saved. I'll be posting it here all this week, so if you'd like to know the story behind the ornament, please stop back tomorrow for the first installment of Grandma's Christmas Tree.