The Family Treeby Charity Tahmaseb
Our Christmas tree isn’t winning any prizes. If Martha Stewart ever got a glimpse of it, she’d probably break out in hives (a notion that pleases me, possibly too much). We didn’t even have a tree our very first Christmas together. Instead we opened Christmas presents on our wedding day, our ears strained for the phone call that would signal Bob’s deployment to Somalia.
The following year, Bob bought a tree at Target along with red, gold, and silver balls. It looked like we’d plucked it from the center of the Christmas decoration aisle and plunked it down in our living room. It was pretty, but it didn’t have any soul.
When I suggested we exchange tree ornaments instead of anniversary gifts, Bob commented we’d have to stay married a long time for a decently decorated tree. When the kids came along, we added them to the ornament exchange, and they look forward to the ornament shopping excursion almost as much as Christmas Day. Almost.
There is no grand plan, no theme, color or otherwise, for our tree. On the branches, you can find fragile Faberge style egg ornaments and spun glass ones next to the wooden blocks Andrew painted when he was four. We have an ornament commemorating the year 2000 and engraved pewter bells for our tenth anniversary. Thanks to Andrew’s obsession with nutcrackers last year, we added an entire squad of soldiers to our tree. Very soon, each nutcracker soldier will end up with a princess companion, courtesy of Kyra.
In a way, our tree--and its ornaments--is a history of our family. Each year, we add a page, in the form of glass and glitter, bright paint and homemade creations.
And each year, we hang fewer and fewer of those red, gold, and silver balls.