Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rich In Tradition

Every year as I decorate my tree I find myself digging out one of my most treasured ornaments. I have some beautiful things that have been given to me over the years and I do love all of them but this simple ornament always has to be on my tree. The ornament I speak of is a plastic tree that is 40 years old. It was given to me when I was eleven years old and when hung before a light gives off a warm glow.

Our neighbors, Joyce and Ted, were an elderly couple who never had children. They were wealthy by our standards and took our family under their wings and treated us with the utmost of respect and love. Joyce was a very artistic and creative lady and had such a fun loving heart. She used something different each year for her Christmas tree. One year it was a large pine tree branch complete with cones draped sideways in a corner, another year it was a huge tumble weed she found. She and Ted built their dream retirement home and named it "Tiger Tail West". Every year they would give each of us a small gift and tied on the top of the gift was an ornament. None of the ornaments were expensive and I really don't know what happened to the rest of them.  For some reason this particular ornament held my fascination and I tucked it away and have moved it around with me everywhere I go.  

When I hang this tree it brings back to me a much simpler time, not always happy, not always sad, but just a simpler time when I would dream about the future. It also reminds me of the goodness of people who could have brushed us off as annoying neighbors. I learned so many things about a bigger world from Joyce without ever realizing it at the time.

This is one tradition of many that I have in my family. There are many more such as this tradition I wrote about last year that my goofball son started.

What is a tradition or something special your heart treasures? It could be something tangible or just a memory. 


Twisted Fencepost said...

Adorable tree!
I would treasure it also. And the story behind it.
And I loved the story about the Cagner! Never heard it before.

Linda Reeder said...

Oh, we have so many traditions! Sometime I'll have to post about our tree - maybe next year! When the kids were still at home I was never allowed to put anything is a different place. We could add things each year, but not change anything!

Kelli said...

I never knew about where that ornament came from, nor about those cool neighbors giving gifts to you guys. What cool people they must have been, kind of reminds me of Joe and Sheri with all of us kids. I love that there are memories that come with the simplest of things.

Mental P Mama said...

I love those sentimental ornaments more than anything. Pulling them out every Christmas gives me such joy. I am also loving the new header! Very creative;)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

The pooping shepherd boy!! Bwahaha! I love your family's traditions. Such fun!

And your story about the pretty tree is so wonderful, Vonda. It actually looks like fancy stained glass, if I didn't know any better.

We used to have a crazy tradition of passing around a 'recycled' crazy gift among our family members, but as our family moved farther apart, both physicaly and emotionally, that tradition passed away.

My favorite tradition now is to put up the tree together and watch the kids decorate it. I used to stress about how perfectly the ornaments were placed on each branch, now it doesn't matter. I guess wisdom and patience comes with age. lol!
All the way until my kids grow up and move out, I pick out an ornament to give them each Christmas, usually doing with something they've accomplished the previous year or having to with their interests.

My tree gets more heavily laden with ornament each year. One day, when they are out on their own, they will take their ornaments with them.

And my tree will be barren....

I also enjoy baking cookies with my kids, too. That's one tradition that my hips won't be missing one day. hehe

Happy Holidays!
New Mexico

Tipper said...

A lovely Christmas rememberance! I love how ornaments we collect take us back to a different time.