Andrea here, musing about the allure of the Christmas tree. I was traveling for the two weeks right before Christmas Eve and decided that I would have to forego a tree this year because it would turn brittle and lose its needles without the regular watering needed to keep it in fine fettle. A rational decision, perhaps, but I was a little surprised at how much I missed its presence when I arrived home.
When I was a kid, decorating the tree was always a highlight of the season. My family would take turns adding an ornament at a time. No tinsel was ever allowed. Just lights (no little fairy lights but the old-fashioned bulbs in traditional colors)and ornaments. All of us had favorites, and it was always fun to see much-loved friends appear year after year.
But as happens, kids grow up and family traditions change . . . my Mother kept all the boxes at her house and for years she would decorate a tree with the same ornaments for when we came for our Christmas visits. When she passed away, the boxes got divided between us, and also shared nephews and nieces who wanted to have a sweet memory of their grandmother.
I eventually decided to make my own tradition and found a collection of wonderful wooden snowflakes a while back that together with my blue and silver ornament balls make up the annual look of my tree. (I find that I like a simple, minimal look.) That its familiar twinkling of good cheer and wonderful scent of pine is not there to add a festive touch to the remaining Yuletide evenings this year makes the season a little less bright.
How about you? Do you have a tradition of putting up a tree? Do you have childhood memories of Christmas trees past?