December 9, 2010

The Christmas Tree

Here is the Hardy Family's Christmas tree of 2010.
Do you see all those ornaments?  Well, each one of them is very, very special.  It was a tradition in my family to receive ornaments and also to collect them throughout important stages and times of life.  So there are ornaments that say "World's Best Babysitter" and ornaments from lots of family vacations (including Grumpy the Dwarf from Disney World -- I'm a little offended that of all the Disney ornaments, that's the one they picked for me) and many ornaments given over the years as gifts from friends and family. I can't show them all - there are probably over a hundred ornaments on this tree by now.  But, hanging these ornaments is like a walk down memory lane and a sweet precious time of remembering so many blessings in my life.  

There are ornaments from family:
The first ornament given to me by my "Grandma" in 1981, the year of my birth
The last ornament given to me by Grandma in 1984, the year of her death.
The back of this one reads: "Lisa Davis '77"  That's my Aunt Lisa, but I guess at some point it got bequeathed to me...
On the top, given to me by my Great Aunt Shirley and Great Uncle Cedric in 1982
On the bottom, given to me and Robert by Aunt Shirley and Uncle Cedric in 2007 when we got engaged.

 There are ornaments handmade with lots of love:

Handmade by my Great Grandmother, "Boo"

"To Chrissy - Love, Dad" .... he's always been the artistic one
"To Chrissy - Love, Trey" And he still loves Cookie Monster at age 32. 
Handmade by Robert's Mema for us.... there are several of these and we love them dearly.

More snowflakes made by my great-grandmother

And there are some that are just sort of sentimental for one reason or another...

My first "Jones Mouse" given by Sarah (Jones) Wingfield in the college days...
One of several light-up Moravian stars, given to us at a Christmas shower before our wedding, but a reminder to me of the beautiful traditions, culture and history of Moravian Christmases, unique to Winston-Salem
When theatre used to be a huge part of my life, I always made Christmas ornaments for cast and crew to remember our show by.  Here's a goblet from Hamlet...
And a matchbook from Biedermann and the Firebugs.   There's a whole corner of the tree filled with "show ornaments"

There are lots and lots of ornaments from trips, like this surfboard we brought back from Hawaii (2009)

And every year there are a few more memories that get added to the tree.  Here are two of this year's additions from our two big trips this year:

Backpacking in Utah
And a harp from Ireland

It's been fun to watch our two separate backgrounds and histories blend and merge into this new family.  We've brought our pasts, but have continued to add and build a shared future together. 

I look forward to the new future ahead of us.  As I reflect on my own past and think about each little piece of love, family, friends and memories that hangs on this tree each year, I can only imagine what's in store for Clara.  Next year we'll be picking out an ornament for her with 2011 sharpied on to the back of it.  Hopefully it will be one that she loves and treasures hanging on her tree for many years to come.  I hope to pass on to her this beautiful tradition of ornaments with meaning and stories behind them.  Her story is just beginning....

*Disclaimer: I totally ripped off the idea for this blog post from another blog I read filled with beautiful photos.... My low-light camera lens is about to get sent back to Canon because it's not working correctly and these photos aren't that great.  But I hope it captured some of the joy I feel every year when it's time to decorate the tree.....


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