I am greeted with a flood of memories from my past each year as I put up and take down the Christmas tree. I savor the nostalgic ornaments that I have saved, some of them going back to my childhood in the 1960s. A tacky sequined deer, vintage silver babbles. I still have majority of them from the 1980s when my husband and I celebrated our first Christmases. Of course there are the ones that I have savored from my childrens’ past – the ballet slippers that I bought for my infant daughter, and the violinist for her sister to name a few. I carefully place each piece on the tree. Today while taking down the tree I was taken aback when I opened up a box that holds a pair of wooden angels from the 1980s that were purchased in Germany, as well as some porcelain candle holders. The scent that wafted out was overwhelming. It took me a moment to realize it was a scent from my in-laws home and I suddenly began to cry with the thought of all the years that have gone by since I last saw my mother-in law. That, of course, made me think of my mom. The tears continued in full force.
When I feel this way I write.
In recent years I have written notes with dates and a few details about where some of the ornaments came from. These notes are packed away carefully with each ornament with the hope my daughters will appreciate them when I pass them on their care as much as I have through the years.