Trimming My Tree With Tradition

December 3, 2014


I hung spiderwebs, skulls and bloodied decor around the house with October’s arrival.  I debated whether or not to buy candy for the absent trick-or-treaters that never seem to show on our block.  Then I saw it – a Christmas commercial.  I scoffed and continued to plan trips to pumpkin patches and apple orchards as well as hikes in the woods to take fall foliage pictures.  I was still purchasing Fall decor when the stores began to push Christmas on us.  From beyond racks of orange and rust colored decor, beamed all the sparkle of the holiday season. Christmas trees stood tall above the aisles.
We hadn’t even begun to think about our Thanksgiving plans, but there on television and in stores was Santa Claus, Rudolph, Frosty and all of their pals.  As I scrolled through my Facebook feed, friends already had their trees up before the turkey and cranberry sauce were set on their Thanksgiving table.
I can’t.

As much as I adore every sight, smell, sound and taste of the holiday season, I cannot bring myself to truly celebrate it until Santa makes his official arrival at Herald Square Thanksgiving morning.  Even then, I continue to celebrate my gratitude for the passing year, stuff my belly full of turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings, and fill my heart with the people I love.
Then it happens.

The Thanksgiving leftovers are packed up and divided among refrigerators.  The elastic waistbands are pulled up and over full bellies.  And I – well, I make a game plan.  While Black Friday shoppers scramble for deals, I scramble up to my attic early Friday morning to pull down the Christmas tree and bins upon bins of ornaments and holiday decorations.
That’s my tradition.
While my husband worked, I made myself a cup of coffee, put my hair up and worked from 8:30 on to decorate our perfect tree.  Each year there’s a theme.  This year I was inspired by the romance of Paris with a touch of Versailles.

As I sat back that Friday evening and adored the white glow emitted from our tree, I was overwhelmed with a sense of comfort and contentment.  Christmas trees are not just a pretty decoration placed in a corner of the home to store gifts under.  They are a beautiful display of memories and tradition.
It’s the ornaments my grandmother gave me when I was a child that have become such an important part of my collection as an adult.  It’s the ballerina that always pirouettes her way onto the tree each year.  It’s the silver ornaments I purchased the first year we bought our Christmas tree together.  It’s the ornaments friends and families have gifted throughout the years.  It’s the “tidings of comfort and joy” the carolers sing about all wrapped up in garland and ribbon.

And even if Christmas ads begin in July next year, I will not have those traditions stolen from me.  So I will wait for jolly St. Nick to make his way to Herald Square and shout “Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas,” like a shot ringing out at the starting line, signaling it’s time once again to reprise our holiday traditions.

When do you start decorating for the holidays?

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