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Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Past


When I was a child, I would get excited every year when we opened the Christmas ornaments. It was like catching sight of long lost friends watching them come out of the boxes. Breathlessly, I would ask my mother, over and over, Oh, Momma, do you remember this one? And she would smile and nod. Every year. And the tree topper, oh, I thought she was the prettiest angel ever, with her gold wings and her crimson gown. I felt badly for my friends who had stars topping their trees, but downright awful for the little girl at the end of the end of our lane. Her family's tree had a bow at the top. A bow! And all the ornaments matched, and she wasn't allowed to touch them. Ever.

My favorites were six cardboard snowmen sprayed with glitter. They had pipe cleaners for arms and beards. I pretended they were brothers, and the pink one always managed to take offense, run away, and get lost. Each clearing among the tree branches was a different room the remaining five might go into and have to ask an angel or a skier or a camel or someone for information.

I think we all probably remember ornaments and decorations from childhood. (Well, except for the little neighbor girl, who probably only remembers that stupid, perfectly tied bow.) I'm lucky enough to still have a few of the ones that I had growing up, and I hope my children will someday have their childhood ornaments on trees beside ornaments their own children make.

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