For as long as I can remember, putting up the Christmas tree was an event, an event to be cherished. Holiday music, special hors d’oeuvres for dinner, baking cookies and leaving a few out for Santa. The tree from my childhood was a real one, cut down from my grandfathers garden, and tied to the ceiling rafters, so it wouldn’t tip over. Climbing into the attic to pull down all the special ornaments from years past, and carefully attaching the glass balls handed to me by my grandmother, each one with a story to tell. I remember the fire crackling in the fireplace, feeling the heat on my back as we posed for pictures in our pajamas. Drinking hot cocoa before bed, and shushing my cousins for talking, instead of going to sleep, because I was ready for Santa to come. I carried on some of those traditions with my own children. Every year we made putting up, and decorating the tree a special event. On top of the homemade ornaments made by each child, I selected a new ornament for each of us, each one representing the events of the year. Never a themed tree, always eclectic and beautiful. The past several years I have struggled with decorating the tree, anxiety kept me from opening those ornament containers. So many memories tucked away in those boxes, I just couldn’t bring myself to open them. I pushed past that feeling this year, and after a few anxious moments, I was able to unwrap and enjoy the memory each ornament inspired. I haven’t bought a collector ornament since our son left home so many years ago, but I did this year. This year we celebrated thirty years and the compass ornament is engraved with a sentiment that fits what this year has been for me. A year of learning to live and finding happiness in the wake of tragedy. A sentiment that highlights moving forward and beginning a new and exciting journey. It fits right in with the other ornaments, and represents that I truly am healing. Some days are still hard, but I am finding peace and I am ready for a new chapter, a new journey.
“Life’s Next Journey Is The Scenic Route”