In a burst of unaccountable energy this morning, we decided to put up the tree.
Just like me when I was her age, Cady Gray wanted to stare at the ornaments and lights, semi-hypnotized.
Some ornaments were chosen for their meaning; some we inherited; some were acquired for purely decorative reasons. Can you tell which one is which?
Our little tree gets more crowded every year. If we weren't so fond of the place where it stands -- right in our front bay window -- we might have gone to a larger size years ago.
There's no way to articulate the meaning -- or lack thereof -- of every piece to the children. Soon enough they'll grow tired of the stories that are trotted out every December.
Some characters they can recognize: Harry Potter, Hank Aaron, misfit toys from Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Some icons are unmistakable, and always produce delight.
And some shapes and textures and materials simply become material for abstract gazing.
Glass and mirrors catch the colored light, sending it in different directions as you move.
It's a time to pull out heirlooms and surround ourselves with Christmas past. Each year brings new additions, but the perennials form the foundation for a celebration that builds on family traditions we'll never leave behind.
Somewhere tucked deep into the tree is the newest creation to be added, made with a little girl's love just the day before. It waits like a secret to be packed up and then discovered next year -- another story added to the stockpile.