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Monday, December 7, 2015

December Reflections

December 7 - The prompt is Branches.

Ever since I can remember, our Christmas trees have been large.  Even when I first moved into my own apartment 40 years ago, I had a big, live tree.  Since I've been married, we usually have had to chop off some branches to get the tree to fit in the house.  Big trees, lots of branches to hold all my special ornaments.  

I have some ornaments that I handmade with my sister for that first tree I got when I moved out of my parents house at about 21.  Every year I put them on the tree.  Added to that are the ornaments the kids have made in school over the years and ornaments I have collected at special places.  I have an ornament we got in Oregon at a Reindeer Farm, one that I got at a Dickens Fair, and one from the North Pole in Alaska!  Needless to say, big trees are pretty much a staple for our Christmases.  This was the one from two years ago, just as an example.  Some have been bigger than this.

This year is different, though.  For the first time in about 40 years, since I was in my own apartment, I am going to be alone for most of the month of December.  The two older kids have moved out of the house and the youngest is away at college and won't be home until the week before Christmas.  My husband is in Oregon with his mother, where we will be going also to spend a few days right before the holiday.  My son promised to help me get a tree like we usually do but when I woke up on the day we were to get the tree, for some reason I just didn't want to do it.  I knew I had to have a tree because one year when we were housesitting for one of my bosses over the holiday we did not get a tree and I was depressed the whole month.  I thought about waiting a few days to see if I would get more into it but then I saw an ad in the paper for a 4 foot, artificial tree for $20.   I talked to my husband and said that we spend at least $40 on our big trees and they just get thrown away at the end of the holiday anyway so if I spend $20 on a tree, even if we never use it again, it's basically the same thing.  

When I went to the store, they only had one left and I'm sure no one bought that because the box was damaged and you could tell that one of the branches was broken.

Knowing that it only had to last one year and that being the crafty person I was, I could probably make the branch look like it wasn't broken, and we had tons of lights so if the lights for some reason didn't work, I could always use my own lights, I took it up to the counter and asked for an additional discount since it was damaged.  They gave me another 15% off!  The tree was now $15!  (Regular price I think was about $50).  In my mind I was already calling it the Charlie Brown tree and I was starting to feel the stir of the Christmas spirit.

When I took it out of the box and put it together, this is what it looked like.  My son came over and got the ornaments out of the garage and I started to work my magic.  I went through the ornaments and decorations, knowing that a lot of them were going to be too big to put on this little tree.  Sparkling silver beads went on first.  Then slowly but surely things started to come together.  

This is what it looks like now.  I think it is perfect.  I was still able to put most a sample of my most precious ornaments on:

A Charlie Brown ornament I made for
my first Christmas tree.

An ornament I made using a paper clip and
some scraps of material, also 40 years old.

 And the kids:

Amanda made this one in school.

Jeff made this angel.

Rachel and her purple sparkles.

And I was even able to put out some decorations under the tree that I am not usually able to display!  One more new memory made:

Now, I'm not saying that this will be our tree next year or that we will make a habit of getting small trees, but for this year, at this time, this is just right.  In years to come we'll be able to say, "Remember that year we had the Charlie Brown tree?" and it will bring back just as many good memories as the big trees do.  I promise.  

Hope you are enjoying the December Reflections.  

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