My strongest and most precious holiday tradition is putting up the Christmas tree. Ever since I put up my very first tree, forty years ago, I take a personal journey when I decorate my tree. I have always decorated the tree all by myself. I have the same process.
Once the tree is in place, whether it is a fake one or a real one I can then start my process. Once the sun has gone down, I place my lighted angel with the waving wings on the very top. Having my own personal angel with me each Christmas provides me a sense of comfort. She has been with me for 35 years or more. Then I place the lights from top to bottom. I stop and take a step back to admire. Then the next day while there is sunshine, I add ribbon depending on my mood. The tree is then ready for the color coordinated Christmas balls.
The final step brings me the most joy. I carefully place the ornaments that I have collected over the years. Each one has a story. My oldest one came from a pen pal I had when I was 12 years old. It is an oriental lantern. The next oldest is a straw pony from Boston. Other special ones I bought when I traveled, or given to me by special people. I have a glass hummingbird that reminds me of my grandma. They all mean something different.
This tradition reminds me of my story – the people I have met and loved, the places that I have ventured to and the life that I have lived. It is my way to start the holiday season.
By Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA