It’s Christmas morning and I’m surveying the aftermath of Christmas morning. Our floor is littered with wrapping paper confetti and remnants of Christmas bows past. Scott and I once again established that we were not going to exchange gifts this Christmas and once again, Scott, the rule breaker that he is, surprised me with a very much-needed watch. Ooh, that scrub. I love it but, boy, I wish I had something to surprise him with too.
Our girls turned one and three this year so this is our first Christmas where the oldest is starting to recognize the festivities of the holiday. You could see hints of their mischief just by looking at our Christmas tree alone. We had a few Christmas ornament casualties during the process and so we had to establish a rule establishing that all ornaments be placed at least 3 feet above ground level. Just a few inches above a certain 1 year old’s reach. And in holidays past, we could freely leave presents under the tree all month long. But now the girls have figured out that those mysterious, wrapping paper-clad shapes usually hold awesome toys inside. Sometimes all we find is a wrapping paper shell still sitting under the tree.
As a family, we’re still trying to figure out what our family traditions will be. What memories do we want our girls to have? It makes me reflect back to my own childhood and the memories I treasure most. As a child, I got so excited when my dad brought out the big cardboard box labeled “Christmas.” In that one box was every Christmas decoration and ornament we possessed and they became a fixture in my childhood memories. In the hodge podge of Christmas articles was the cotton ball Christmas tree I made in kindergarten. Cotton balls glued to the cardboard tube from a paper towel roll, covered with green paint and a dash of glitter. The lone placemat I made from construction paper, laminated so it could withstand the test of time. But my favorite things to carefully unwrap from their newspaper shroudings were the ornaments. I especially loved these personalized metal ornaments shaped like little angels. My siblings and I all had our own angel ornament with our name and birthdate engraved on them.
Ornaments have become our new family tradition. We try to collect ornaments on any trip we take, and it all started with our honeymoon on an Alaska cruise. Now, when I look at our Christmas tree, I am swept away on a journey reliving our last 6 years. There’s the ornament from when we followed the UH Warriors team to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans (my hubby had warned me that when I married him, I was also marrying UH football). There’s the “Wally” mascot ornament from our tour of Fenway Park. Sometimes we got a little inventive when no ornaments were to be found. A Dodger key chain and a hook=ornament!
And wanting to continue the angel ornament tradition, I have searched for the angel ornaments for my own children without success. Until last year, when I discovered these photo metal ornaments from Millers Lab. Now, each year, I create a unique ornament for each of the girls. I can only imagine what our tree will look like in ten years.
Our Christmas tree has become a book of our lives, a time capsule of the moments along our path. It’s a reminder of what each year has brought us, abundant in laughter and blessings.
We hope this year has blessed you with much and we pray that 2014 will be more than you could ever dream of. Mele Kalikimaka a me Hau`oli Makahihi Hou!