While decorating for the winter season I can’t help but be emotional and reflective and grateful for all that we have. I’m not talking about possessions, but rather the memories we’ve collected so far and what they mean to us now. This post is about those memories.
The first memory is tied to the round sequined ornament to the right. It is from a set made by one of our neighbors. We loved our gardens and talked of them often and we would often see her while we were walking Nick and Katie. They were made by hand, each sequin being pinned on until the globe was covered. They are spectacular! We don’t get to see her very often any longer, but it was touching gift, equally as touching as the tulips she bought us for our wedding. The tulips come up each spring!
Another memory is tied to the photo to the left, of the clay tree ornament. It was made when I was in kindergarten. It was a gift to my parents and it hung on our family tree for many years. It was green and covered in glitter then. When I left for New England my mom was still alive and she told me I should take it. I’m glad I did. It’s on one of our trees each year now. She’s been gone a long time, but all I have to do is look at that ornament and it pulls back memories of my childhood and of her.
Another homemade ornament I treasure isn’t nearly as old. It comes from my time working in the corporate world. A coworker was a talented artist and she made the ornament, to the right, for me one year. It features me, naked, conversing telepathically with a recurring character in her works, “The Shaman.” It makes me laugh and reminds me of her free, unrestricted, uninhibited spirit .
We receive many cards and invitations each year and one of my favorites is the card to the right. The forest and snow, with the sun streaming down is so beautiful. The invitation is to a Solstice Party held each year. I look forward to it each December. Seeing the card every time it arrives fills me with a feeling of family and acceptance. I love going to see their tree; it’s a big one and decorated very simply. Everyone brings food and we talk about politics and social justice and all kinds of stimulating things for several hours. It’s one of the few times I like being with a group of human beings.
Another card I loved so much I’m making it into an ornament! It’s from one of my dearest friends and her husband and daughter. She knows I love sparkly things and she knows I really appreciate secular cards. It’s been a joy to watch her find love, marry, and eventually have a wonderful daughter, and then watch her daughter grow into a remarkable young person. I couldn’t be happier for her! The ornament will be the perfect way to think of them all, well and the memories of their wedding in Quebec, that was magical too; I’ll never forget that.
One thing I look forward to pulling out each holiday season is a drawing done by one of Stan’s colleague’s son. The colleague has been a good friend to Stan and I over the years. When her son was younger he couldn’t draw enough and one year we got a special gift of an original drawing from him. It’s remarkable because of his age at the time. We get to see them a couple of times a year now and her son is now in high school. The time goes by very quickly!
The last item I want to talk about are ornaments that are very dear to both of us because they reminder us of our chosen family. The tree to the left is from a set we made with S & E when they were very little. They are both in high school now. We have the set we made and S & E have the ones they made that day. Their parents are two of our best friends. We spend many holidays with them all. It’s been a pleasure to spent time with them all over the years and we have so many memories with them all, including our wedding at their home.
Sometimes the gift you are giving isn’t the thing you are giving, but the reminder of a friendship, a slice of time never to come again, or ties to those we don’t have with us any longer.
I hope your holiday season has been full of those kind of gifts.