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A Christmas Joy

IMG_1747Lou opened our box of ornaments. “What’s this?” my eight-year-old Grand asked, and she tossed something toward me. A four-inch long, green bird with a long curved tail fell in my lap. “Do you really put that on your Christmas tree?”

“There’s another one,” I said and laughed at Lou’ frown. “I have a bird collection that I hang together. When I sit in my chair drinking morning coffee I like seeing them.”

Lou held the other bird high above her head. “These don’t look like Christmas ornaments. Why do you put them on your tree?”

“A student, a girl, gave them to me for Christmas. When I opened the gift, she said, ‘Mom said you better like those. They cost a lot of money!’ ”

“Really, she said that?” asked my Grand. I nodded. I don’t hang all the ornaments from students, but many I do, to remember classroom days.

Lou prowled through the ornaments while I hung ten birds. I encouraged her to help me decorate the tree. “How about this?” Lou said, “I’ll lay the ornaments out. You hang them.” I’d envisioned that she and I would decorate Husband’s and my tree together, but she continued to sit cross-legged on the floor and lined up ornaments on the coffee table.

“Okay,” I said. “But I’m not hanging everything in the box. Nothing blue. And some are too fragile to hang. I just like to keep them.” While Perry Como sang “White Christmas,” Lou sorted and I decorated.

“What do you want me to do with this plastic broken-legged white reindeer and its funny looking Santa?” My Grand asked. I took it from her.

“That goes on a limb. In the middle of the tree where it’s safe and won’t fall off. It was on the tree at my house when I was a little girl. This Santa is at least seventy years old,” I said. My Grand rolled her eyes. I reached across her to get a plastic cream-colored lantern from the box. “This is really old too,” I said.

“It looks old! You don’t hang that, do you?” Lou said.

“I do. It was decoration on my Christmas gift from Pop in 1968.”

“And you kept it?”

“Guess what was in the box?” My Grand raised her shoulders, threw her hands in the air. “This diamond ring.” I held out my left hand. “When Pop gave me this engagement ring, we decided to marry the next August.”

Lou pointed to the small lantern. “Well, I hope there was more that on the outside of the box.”

“There was. A beautiful red bow and another lantern. ”

Lou searched in the ornament box. “You mean this?” She held a matching plastic lantern. “I hope they looked better when they were new. Good thing there was a special gift in the box.” Someday my Grand will understand.

Finally, Lou joined me in decorating. She held a red glittery glass ball, “This better be up high so Micah and Henry (her 18 month old brother and 2 ½ year old cousin) won’t break it.   You do the high ones and I’ll put the things that won’t break on the bottom.”

When every tree branch held at least one ornament, I said, “I think we’re almost finished.”

Lou picked up another ornament. “Uh, Gran. You said no blue. But this is pretty special.” Her eyes were opened wide and she held a clay blue heart that she’d made two years ago. She hung it front and center.

One of the greatest joys of Christmas is remembering Christmases past. Especially with someone you love.


2 Responses

  1. Love it. Love making memories with. Lyrah


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