Looking back I can’t believe that these thoughts actually crossed my mind. Thanksgiving feast had been prepared and eaten, including all of the leftovers. Thoughts turned to Christmas decorating. Visions of boxes upstairs and downstairs. Little boxes within bigger boxes packed with Christmas. I mulled over the idea of not decorating. The effort of bringing up boxes, unpacking, taking decor off the wall, putting red and green decor on the wall, hanging this and that seemed like a daunting task. Worth the effort? No, I decided. I would just enjoy everyone else’s decorations of Christmas joy. This was serious enough that I even asked CT (my grandson) of his thoughts about Christmas decorations. I tried to ask his opinion in a nonchalant way, “What you think about not getting the Christmas decorations out this year?” I knew his answer in his eyes before he said in an incredulous voice, “Grandma! We have to have the tree and all the lights and all the stuff.” Ok, I didn’t want a story about myself being told after I was gone about the year I did not decorate for Christmas. So I brought up the many boxes and started unpacking. As I unpacked each ornament I thought, “What was I thinking?” Ornaments made by little hands. Ornaments made by older hands. Ornaments that were older than five decades. Most of the ornaments had a special memory that led to a story. As we tell those stories, loved ones who are gone are brought home again for Christmas. And to think I almost left those stories in boxes.
Another book gem written by Cynthia Rylant is Christmas in the Country. It is a loving account of sweet memories of Christmas past. This one is a must for family sharing.
“I loved those ornaments. Some of them I had made myself. Hard foam bells glued with green glitter: Red construction-paper chains. There were silver icicles and white glass stars and soft angels Each ornament reminded me of my whole life.”
Ruth Ayres photographs and writes about each memorable ornament. The published piece is then placed in a 4 x 6 photo album.