Christmas is over already? What?
And it’s 2018 already? When did that happen?
Well – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to ya’ll! A bit late…
AGMA’s been taking an mini-sabatical. Unplanned.
Between spending a week in Chicago for Christmas and catching a pretty bad cold from TMAGCITW (otherwise known as the adorable walking petrie dishes), finding the time and energy to write’s been challenging. Actually, finding the time and energy for most of AGMA’s recreational activities has been challenging.
No running, no writing, no reading.
‘shame since I have Fire and Fury downloaded on my Fire. I just haven’t regained quite enough strength to tackle the inside scoop on our like, really smart, stable genius Twit-in-Chief.
OMG – I think I threw up a little in my mouth.
Since it’s early January, AGMA did muster the strength to take the Christmas tree down with Hubs this past weekend. We sucessfully wrestled all 4 sections into the box in the garage.
11 years ago, we gave up, after 30 years, having a fresh cut Christmas tree. It was traumatic.
For nearly all of those 30 years, we went to a “cut you own” tree farm outside of Cincinnati. And for about 20 of those years, we plunged deep into the bowels of the tree farm to find the Griswold Family perfect Christmas tree and cut it down. We DID remember to bring a saw… Then Hubs and I schlepped the tree 1/2 mile back to the parking lot. And onto the top of the car.
Imagine our euphoria those last 10 or so years when our two strong sons we old enough and big enough to take over the schlepping duties!
But we had built some beautiful family traditions around our annual Christmas tree farm visit. Traditions that disappeared when we moved to Georgia.
AGMA has this thing about traditions. I hate to let them go. My head told me it was okay for multiple reasons, but my heart was sad.
It’s difficult to say goodbye to some seasons of life.
But our 11 year old artificial tree is big and pretty and doesn’t need water and doesn’t drop needles and looks pretty realistic.
Hubs bought our first tree Christmas Eve 1976 for $5 from a gas station tree lot. He brought it back to our apartment, decorated it with lights he got at the drug store, and surprised me when I got back from a doctors appointment. No ornaments; just lights.
To a 22 year old AGMA, it was beautiful.
Things have changed since 1976. This year, there were still lights on the tree. And some garland. And 184 ornaments. That’s 1 – 8 – 4.
To a 63 year old AGMA, it was beautiful.
The tree was up and decorated when my son and his family visited us in mid-December (see the Pink Paradise post…) My DIL asked me, “How did you get so many ornaments?”
“A lifetime of collecting.” I answered.
My answer hit me like a ton of bricks. It HAS been a lifetime since I’ve been collecting ornaments.
And almost every one has a story to tell about our family. It takes me a long time to hang them all on the tree because I like to hold them and remember…
Some hung on our Christmas tree when AGMA was a child. They’re old! I have “Welcome baby” ornaments from 1982 and 1984. And 2014. Poor V doesn’t have one!
Some ornaments were made by my sons when they were children. There are intricate dough ornaments I bought in 1987 from my neighbor’s sister. 30 years is a pretty good life for ornaments made of flour and water!
Of course, there are many, many ornaments from our travels. And ornaments that others have given us from their travels.
I have ornaments that aren’t really ornaments, but AGMA made them into ornaments.
We have a set of The 12 Days of Christmas ornaments I bought in the 80’s, a particularly happy time in my life. A lovely local family in Cincinnati who worked in ceramics started designing them in 1981 and produced a new “day” ornament every year. They accelerated their production and completed the last 4 in 2 years due to family illness. These are some of my most treasured ornaments because they are so beautiful and were purchased during a season of AGMA acute happiness.
Sadly, the entire family has passed on – the mother, father and two children (who would be in their 60’s had they lived), but I think of them every year at Christmas. I remember how gifted and warm and welcoming they all were when I hold their creations in my hands.
And how life was so sweet.
Many ornaments have been retired over the course of 41 years. And there have been ornament ‘casualities’. Some of our dough ornaments have lost appendages. Other ornaments are missing the hangy things. A few years ago, one of my childhood ornaments was broken. And this year we lost a glass Santa from Ireland my sister gave us. But they were all individual ornaments, not part of a set.
AGMA knows that it’s just a matter of time before one of my 12 Days gets broken. And it will be irreplaceable. And I will be devastated in a First World Problem kind of way.
But I think that maybe it could be a sign from the Universe that it’s time to move into a new season.
Or in AGMA’s case, dragged kicking and screaming into a new season.
A season of dispersing instead of collecting. A season for a tabletop tree rather than a 9 foot monster.
A season of greater simplicity as I get ever closer with each passing year to encountering Child of Bethlehem in person.
Until then, I’m going to go for 190 ornaments next Christmas.
Happy 2018 my friends!!