In an attempt to beat the snow, Hub got the outside decorations up in a timely manner. It also gave me a chance to get a jump on the indoor decorating which I usually don't begin until after the tree is up. This year the tree is the last item on the agenda.
It also gave me time to sort through boxes that had been unopened for years and, oh, did the memories come flooding back. Our trees have always been eclectic. We have all the ornaments from Hub's family and mine as well as the ones we have added over our thirty nine Christmases together. We have old clip on candle holders from the days they were actually used and the candles lighted to illuminate the tree and tin reflectors that were used when bulbs came into vogue. Our trees are always wonderful. At least to us.
What really brought back the memories though, were several boxes I had nearly forgotten about. The minerature ornaments Dad made for the miniature trees my brother and I had in our rooms.
Back when we had those trees we didn't have television. Dad spent most of his evenings tucked away in his basement workshop while we kids were doing our homework or being tucked into bed. Wonderful creations would emerge. Most often at Christmas time. The contents of these boxes were part of that treasure. The ornaments he made for those little trees.
I found the perfect tree at Michael's. It has shorter needles than most of the mini trees and was perfect for decorating. As I unpacked those boxes I examined each of the creations within and marveled at the patience he had to have, first of all find such tiny adornments, but to then drill the smallest of holes in what had to be extremely fragile goods and insert the finest of wire to form the hooks. He even took birthday cake candles and cut them down to make the candle clips. It must have taken me a couple of hours to finish the job. I was handling the most precious of treasures. My Dad had made them - for me - and my brother. During those long winter evenings.
Ah, those wonderful memories. The family decorating the tree together on Christmas eve then off to midnight mass. It became tradition. And our trees, our very own, to brighten our rooms.
We weren't able to light those candles, but the folks sure knew how to light up our hearts.