Christmas Memories

by : C Faubel

Christmas decorations have come a long way since children would find delight in stringing popcorn to decorate the family Christmas tree. As a child I fondly remember the meticulous process of cutting small strips of paper. Hundreds of small strips of paper - sorting the strips by color and carefully stacking them in preparation for creating a long paper chain, by gluing each of the colored strips into joined circles. My heart filled with pride when my mother allowed me to place my beautiful creation on our family Christmas tree.

It is sad to me that I so seldom see a Christmas tree decorated with the creations of children. The more commercialized versions of trees can be very beautiful, but I can't help but wonder how much we are losing in family values by teaching our children that beauty comes in an expensive package rather than the beauty that comes from the heart of a creative child (in my case the creativity may have been lacking but thankfully my mother showered me with praise at my attempts).

These days, I have replaced having a freshly cut Christmas tree with an artificial tree. I find it a little easier to simply pull the tree out of the box, already decorated with fiber optic lights. I generally add a few special Christmas decorations - one lone Christmas bulb that my parents had on their first Christmas tree as a married couple - a precious small glass bulb - blue in color, and encircled with small cultured pearls. I carefully pack that treasure away, in hopes that it will survive for many more generations to come. In 2006 my parents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary , sadly my mother passed away shortly after their anniversary. My daughter got married in 2007, I hope to pass along this precious Christmas bulb to her and her husband in hopes that they too will be able to celebrate 65 years of marriage.

I have saved some of the decorations that my daughter created when she was a small child - I hope that she felt the same pride when I placed her creations on the family Christmas tree. I am sure that when she has children, she too will understand the significance of how important it is to acknowledge our children in this way. I don't think that my daughter will ever allow me to forget the year when I bought my first artificial Christmas tree - it was not the tree itself that had any significance- the fact is that I never actually took the Christmas tree out of the box - when Christmas eve arrived and I still had not gotten around to getting the tree set up, I simply brought out some Christmas lights and carefully strung them on the cardboard box that contained the Christmas tree - you have to admit there are not many children that have a memory that their mother decorated the family Christmas box! As a single mother, time was always in short supply but my daughter and I will always share a laugh when we remember this.