All over the world, those who celebrate Christmas have traditions that add that extra joy and sparkle to their holidays. In our family, it is the Christmas tree tradition. During the first week of December, my husband goes out and buys two Christmas trees. He delivers one to his sister and the other is for us.
We don’t usually decorate the tree the day it arrives; we wait a day or two just enjoying the smell of pine. I’m not sure exactly when my oldest daughter took on the role of making sure everyone will be home, but over the years, she lets everyone know what evening the decorating will be happening so we don’t make any other plans.
Our home is filled with Christmas music, laughter, and the occasional warning shout of “don’t step on the lights”! As we hang the ornaments, there is always conversation of how we acquired them. Year after year we put up the family photo ornament that my niece made when she was in elementary school and the ones my own children made. There isn’t a tangible theme for our tree – the theme is simply a collection of memories.
This year, we deviated from tradition just a little in that we got our tree before Thanksgiving and decorated it after our Thanksgiving dinner. The reason being, we all were not going to be home during the first week of December.
I know that the time will come when my children will not be at home to decorate the tree, but with the wonderful technology we have these days, we can still be together with the able assistance of the webcam!
It is my hope that my son follows the tradition of his father and buys a Christmas tree for his two sisters when they have their own homes. I am confident that my children will continue the tree decorating tradition when they get their own families.
The tree decorating tradition is a special one for our family. What is yours?
May the joys of the season warm all our hearts!
For the past several years, just around the first week of December, I go to my closet and take out my box of birthday letters and spend a few minutes reading all the beautiful thoughts 37 people penned to me.
I always tell my family that I want to get my flowers when I am alive; when I can enjoy and feel the joy of receiving them. I always tell my family people need to hear kind words and nice things about themselves when they are alive. Why wait until the person dies? My family heard me. For my 37th birthday, one of my daughters spearheaded the “Mom’s Birthday Letters” project. The 37 letters I received brought immense joy and happiness to me then and still do today. These letters have taken up real estate in my heart! Today, I will share with you one of my letters. I’ve retyped it verbatim, except for my name. I replaced my nickname with my real name.
Elaine my dear,
Today as you celebrate your birthday, my thoughts will be with you as yours will be with many others as well. It will be unjust if I do not take this opportunity to congratulate Roshini for thinking about you and creating a gift that will probably end up being your most prized possessions; one you can refer to and cherish long after she is all grown up and gone. My invitation to participation in your book of love is indeed an honor.
Elaine, I have known you for about 17 years and I think you look the same – young and pretty. Your early adult years were fun-filled for your childhood lingered. I realized that only because we worked together which gave me the chance to know you for the person you are. I watched you grow and most importantly mature through laughter and tears.
We spent some school years together, though not classroom time. We were there for each other for support and to lend an ear. Those days were rough ones and I will never forget them. Those were also good years where we actually developed our friendship as it is today. That time in your life was also blessed, for in my opinion, it forced you to grow up fast.
I remember vividly the excitement you displayed on your 25th birthday. I was very happy for you then as I am today. Youthful days gave you extra energy to deal with the trials of motherhood. You did a wonderful job and your success shows in the three beautiful children you have. Now both you and your husband can welcome their accomplishments with great pride.
Over the years, I watched you blossom into the woman you are. Your educational path led you here, your community involvement, your unselfish thoughts and time devoted to others, your family life, a loving wife and mother…these qualities my friend will continue to bloom and take you into the golden years.
On this your 37th birthday, the pleasure is all mine to be able to call you friend. It was God’s will and my good fortune to see where you were yesterday, where you are today and your journey into the tomorrows ahead.
A special wish to you for a happy, healthy, and blessed birthday. Cherish today and continue to embrace tomorrow with a smile.
In my last post, I shared with you how I’ve had to exercise patience with the retail store that had my computer. Well, I picked it up the night before Thanksgiving (17 days later) and it is working fine at present. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t run into any more issues. My patience paid off.
The mail carrier arrived bearing a gift all the way from New Zealand. I discovered it on my dining table on Thanksgiving morning. While I was out getting my computer, it arrived and nobody told me. I couldn’t open the mailing tube fast enough to see the lovely “Be a Butterfly” print that my blogging friend, Pauline King sent me. Do check out The Contented Crafter here to see how I won this beautiful work of art. Pauline is a truly talented artist and I am delighted to have met her in the world of blogging! Do check out her Etsy Shop when you get a chance.
I’m on a mini vacation! I’m blessed to have a job that allows me to be home with my family for four days for the Thanksgiving holiday. We shared a lovely Thanksgiving meal together and later on that evening we decorated our Christmas tree.
Indeed, good things happened! Won’t you agree?