Unpacking Memories

Our Sunday morning began peacefully as it usually does, snuggling with the animals before getting up to start this last day of the Thanksgiving break. Dan and I had a long list of things we’d hope to accomplish; mostly we were just excited to spend the day together decorating the house for Christmas. The tree trimming begins!

Dan is the master of all things lighting around here- we are the Disneyland of Southside, and I love the LED magic he brings to our home. Once the tree is wrapped in lights, it is my turn to add my own magic of memories to the tree.

My mom loved Christmas more than anyone I’ve ever known, and no matter how little money there was, she found a way to make the holiday magical for us. For a long as I can remember, she would take each ornament out and tell me the story of where they came from (many from the time my family spent two tours in Germany with my father), and very soon I became responsible for decorating the tree- a duty that I took very seriously.

I have continued that tradition over the years, collecting ornaments that bring back so many memories of life. I have ornaments from the tree of my childhood, some from my mother’s last Christmas tree at the Home for Wayward Seniors. I have ornaments from students that I taught when I was a middle school band director at the beginning of my career. Ornaments that give tribute to animals we have loved and lost, and many snowmen to make me smile and think of my mother. Ornaments to reflect our loves of music, cycling, and home renovation, ornaments from the Nantahala Gorge where Dan and I were engaged and married, and so many others.

Mom and I had a tradition of adding one new ornament to the collection each year, and I still faithfully search for a special one to add to the tree…but it’s the older ornaments that always grab my heart. I feel it before I even open the storage container where they all lie in wait, wrapped carefully away. As I unwrap each one, the memories flood over me, often bringing tears- but more often come smiles, so many memories to treasure. How blessed I’ve been to live a life that has been so filled with love.

4 thoughts on “Unpacking Memories

  1. I always look forward to seeing pictures of your home at Christmas, Denise. 🎄
    So beautiful, magical, and peaceful….
    It always puts me into the holiday mood!

    1. I really appreciate that, Catherine- how sweet! It’s early- still more decorating to do, and I will be posting more photos and videos. I love this time of year. 😊

  2. I love the tradition! We have a similar one – my husband’s family always gifted each child in the family with an ornament at Christmas. My husband has a whole box of them (21 years worth) then we continued after we were married. We repeated it for our boys who were getting double (from their grand parents and from us) so their boxes are huge! We still add to the collection. I also inherited some from my grandfather and from my mother – all are special! We have so many that we really need 2 trees to be able to get them all up!

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