A free-verse poem about the ornaments that make our Christmas tree so special.
|My wife Linda adores all things
about Christmas, most especially
the Christmas tree we have each year.
Linda lays out all the tree’s decorations
on the dining room table, then we
place each on the Christmas tree as she
recalls a memory about each ornament.
“This was our first ornament we purchased
together. Remember?” she asks me.
Memories of our honeymoon flood my mind.
“This ball we bought on that trip to Atlanta.”
That was back in 1985, the first trip back
home to Georgia after our marriage.
“And this Mickey ornament is from our first
visit to Disney World; this Murano glass bell
was a souvenir from our trip to Italy.”
On and on, each ornament brings memories
of trips, cruises, important events in our life
together over the past thirty years of marriage.
Handling most of the decorations brings a smile
to Linda’s face. The occasional one brings
tears to her eyes. “My mother made this one
the year she died.”
We mark the passage of our marriage
through the years with this parade
of ornaments being hung on the tree.
‘Can that trip really have been
that many years ago?’ I often wonder.
The sentiment attached to each ornament
bestows its true value, sometimes making
a child-made paper decoration more prized
than that Waterford crystal ball I gave her
on our fifteenth Christmas together.
I attached little importance to Linda’s
collecting a Christmas ornament
on every trip and for each occasion
over the years early in our marriage.
But today this collection of ornaments
is cherished, for they provide a unique
guide through our marriage – tangible
markers of our life together that we get
to hold and reflect upon every year as we
turn our Christmas tree into the most
beautiful tree we could ever imagine.
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