The ugly tree

The holidays filled traditions, some passed down for generations, others blended from two families becoming one, some people create new traditions that will be passed down for future generations.

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I remember as a kid we use to go to my grandmothers every Christmas Eve.  All the cousins, aunts and uncles, would all get together in this little house that would be bursting with laughter, light, and the smell of homemade pies. My tiny grandmother would be maning the kitchen, entertaining the little ones, and making sure everyone had a seat and enough to eat. We would all get to open presents and drink some of grandmas special soda punch. To their day I don’t know what that was, but it was yummy and part of the tradition. imageOver the years it stopped happening due to many reasons, but having that even briefly as a child really meant something. Of course I want to give the same thing to my kid, but families don’t live as close anymore.

Not only are both of our families broken, they live in different states. So the last few years we have traveled during Christmas. We visit husbands Dad and step mom in Mass, his mother and friends in Maine, then back here for a second Christmas with my sister and mother. So that being said, we never really decorated, why bother when we won’t be here right? I got a small table top tree and we would use that. Over the years Cody had been making ornaments through school and such, so we have collected quite a bit. The tree has been gradually getting more and more buried under all the handprint snowmen, but again no worries cause we would be decorating the “real” tree somewhere else.

This year will be the first year we’ve celebrated the holidays at home in a very long time! I am a tad excited about that. So tonight I bring up the “tree” and the little box of decorations. Cody gets excited, the same way I remmeber getting excited when my dad would bring in the tree. (Even if he was swearing at it because the branches got wonky in storage).

He clapped and started pawing through the decorations oohing and awing “I remember this from Pre-K!” “Look mom it’s my Christmas tree from 1st grade!!” Just bringing back all those memories, all the times he came home with a new one or when we made one at home on a snowy day. After we decorated we turned out the light and here she is…our tree.

imageYes this is our ugly tree. And I love it. So does Cody

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Ya I could go out, get a fancy tree, get some fancy decorations, but this tree…see this tree fits right where we can have it. (Small house, huge bunny cage…plus bunny likes to chew everything including artificial trees…so we must go higher). And it is decorated with memories. Fabulous memories that we will just keep adding to. It’s decorated with Cody. Almost every single thing on that tree is something Cody made. How awesome is that? Screw your fancy Martha Stewart color themed tree.image

I’ll take this one. imageThis one has heart and soul. This one has history. This one tells a story.

Maybe Cody will want to take the decorations with him when he has a family and maybe not. But for today for this holiday we can look at our ugly tree and think of other years and remember that it’s not about the gifts, or the size of your tree, it’s about families, friends and making wonderful memories and celebrating new and old traditions together.

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