This year is the first time I will be alone for Christmas: alone, that is, in my empty nest. My daughter is dead, my mom’s in an assisted living center, my son has his own family and they choose to celebrate Hannukah instead of Christmas. So it’s definitely time for me to think about what traditions I want to continue … all on my own … for no other reason than that they matter to me and glorify the Lord.
To that end, I want to get a glorious Christmas tree. I love Christmas trees. To me, the evergreen firs speak of the eternal life Christ came to earth to give. The star on top speaks, of course, of the star that guided the magi to Bethlehem.
A royal blue glass ornament with “Gramma” written with gold glitter somehow survived my childhood, even though the grandmother in question died almost four decades ago. In fact, grandmother ornaments bookend my collection. Last year, I found American Greetings ornaments to celebrate “granddaughter’s first Christmas”—celebrating the arrival of Jordan Elizabeth Franklin.
A host of commercial ornaments bring back more memories. Thing 1 and Thing 2 (compliments of a fast food restaurant) revisit not only reading The Cat in the Hat with my children but also my own childhood. How many people have all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hanging on their tree? A pair of golden ski boots reminds me of the year we went to the Salt Lake City Olympics. We bought that small white china ring at a local Dutch festival and that partridge in the pear tree came from a store in my parents’ home in faraway Maine.
Santa Claus in every form and function appears on the tree. One time, he’s wearing a fireman’s suit, commemorating our visit to the Denver Firefighters Museum. In another, he’s kicking a soccer ball, a reminder of my children’s sports period.
What shall I add to the tree this year? Some unique to Oklahoma, since I’ve just moved here? Or maybe Toastmasters … Hmm, I don’t know.
Whatever it is, it will become a visual reminder of my unique history.
Darlene Franklin is the author of four novels as well as stories in two Christmas anthologies: Snowbound Colorado Christmas and Wild West Christmas.
For all you that are wanting a Wild West Christmas, it looks like you have three chances going on through this contest because Darlene Franklin is a part of that Anthology and she also has agreed to giveaway a copy of Wild West Christmas. (Other chances to win are commenting on Vickie McDoungh’s post or Lena Nelson Dooley’s post)