I spent quite a bit of time yesterday afternoon taking down and packing away our artificial Christmas tree and all our ornaments.
Mike and I married in 2001, so we have many ornaments that were his and his son's, and many that were mine, when we met - all hanging together now on the tree as one family's (which melds together a bit more each year). We added some more this year that were Mike's parents, both deceased now. So this year I marvelled at each one's beauty, uniqueness, history and meaning - as I hung them up and as I took them down. When everything was packed, Mike helped me get the Christmas boxes and some other things that had been accumulating on the closet floor up the pull-down stairs, into the attic.
The corner in the living room has the little chest of drawers, wall shelf and knick knacks back in place, the closet floor looks empty, and my heart feels a little bit the same. I grew up Jewish, always longing to celebrate Christmas like my friends. As the only child of wonderful parents, I certainly never wanted for anything money could buy; I just felt different and left out somehow.
When I was in my 20s, I married a Catholic and converted, so now I get to celebrate Christmas every year and it means so much to me! I feel so sad when the season is over and all the pretty ornaments have to be put away for another year - like the exquisite handmade Santa pictured above, a gift from a friend at work.
But of course - even though the tree and decorations are put away - we can still hold the love of Christmas in our hearts as we greet the new year, 2008. Wonder what adventures this new year will bring?!