Counting my blessings: one ornament at a time

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Who has their Christmas shopping done? I know people who do. I know others who have their lists made and are primed for the “Black Friday” sales. I have no lists compiled or gifts bought. I don’t know when either will get done.

I have been admiring the Christmas trees in stores for a couple of months now. I can’t decide if I want to continue with the traditional ornaments my kids made in grade school (which by the way are still coming in) or, start fresh with new ones. Who am I kidding? I couldn’t get rid of those popsicle stick creations if I wanted to. Every time we open the ornament box the memories spill out.

Years ago, I started buying new ornaments for each kid every year. Some years I buy more than one, just depends on trends and my budget. We also make ornaments at home. When they start moving out, they have the option of taking their ornaments with them. So far, four have moved out, two came back, one lives next door so she kind of lets me keep hers, so we still have the bulk of them with us. I’m not sure if the boys will ever want theirs. Maybe wives will find them cute or sentimental but we are light years away from that now.

The first of these baubles and orbs were purchased when the oldest was four and the next was two. My husband actually started the tradition, but he doesn’t really realize it. He went to a neighborhood artist’s open house and bought two little ballerina bears for his sweet baby girls. They loved them and I wanted to re-create this tender gesture every year. Sometimes daddy still participates, but his list of concerns has grown so much I usually just pick them out.

We had approximately four years with only two kids, then we added two more. Now there are seven kids in this family and three grandchildren. My tree is beyond full. We have taken to leaving a few, less memorable ornaments in the closet just because the tree looks like it exploded.

I have toyed with the idea of buying another tree. I have, at times had one in several rooms. The little girls have a pink tree upstairs, my honey and I have put a “Charlie Brown Tree” in our room as a reminder of that first, sparse Christmas when we had ten ornaments and fewer gifts. But, the main tree is the one we all like best.

This year only four of our children are planning to be home for Thanksgiving. I don’t plan to be sad. I will most likely spend the day decorating for Christmas and counting my blessings, one ornament at a time.

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