This is one of my favourite things to do during this busy season because -being the sentimental soul that I am - it gives me a reason to reminisce.
Like most of us I have quite the assortment of ornaments and I've kept them all (they just don't all go on the tree!) There's all the Disney ones that my friends and family have given me, the mice ornaments that I've bought myself (one every year) and of course the handmade ones that my girls made during their elementary years - with glitter and paint and waaaay too much glue.
But my favourite, by far, is the one my mom bought for Tony & me when we were just newlyweds.
It's round and white and it has two "Precious Moments" characters on it, riding on a sled in the snow. Underneath the drawing it says "Our First Christmas Together" and on other side it says "1981."
Every time I take that ornament out I can't help but revisit the many ghosts of Christmases past...
- Our first Christmas together we (OK... me) bought all new decorations and ornaments, and then our 4 month old puppy broke into the house while we were away and broke half of them. I kept the boxes (with his little puppy teeth imprints) till last year. I told you I was sentimental.
- The one Christmas that my family came to our house for Christmas morning I had the worse appendicitis attack ever and spent most of the day puking in the ER. Oh the joys... Now that I think of it, that's probably why my mother has never agreed to let me host since then.
- There was also the "Christmas-Tree-Incident Christmas." After numerous attempts to get our live tree to stand upright and many not-nice things said about the Christmas Tree Farm staff, Tony brought his chain saw into my livingroom to straighten the bottom of the trunk. Wood chips went flying everywhere and I got the giggles. Apparently it was not meant to be funny.
- Then there was the year that Tessa got her first cell phone. We wrapped it up the night before and rang her new number while she tried to open it. We'd never seen her cry over a Christmas present until then. It was awesome.
- Our last Christmas was the most stressful as Tony struggled with a severe back injury and of course it was our worst winter ever. I think there was 12 blizzards that year and I had to shovel us out after every one of them. Most of that Christmas he spent in a Percacet induced fog.
My Christmas memories are all so vivid, some good and some not so good. They will forever be etched on my heart, but what I remember most is the family dinners, the laughing and the visiting. I remember the songs that we sing out about Christ's birth and I thank God that each of my children believe that that baby was born on this earth just for them.
And that is the True Spirit of Christmas Past.