In 2012, our family returned to the tradition of having a Christmas tree after a 2 year hiatus. In 2010, I was recuperating from surgery for breast cancer, and we were anxiously waiting to hear when a series of radiation treatments were going to be scheduled. Coping with putting up a tree, and then taking it down a couple of weeks later, just seemed like too much to deal with. In 2011, I was recuperating from shoulder surgery. At the same time, my husband had just gone through emergency surgery on his knee, his third surgery on the same knee in six months. Again, putting up a tree just seemed like too much to deal with.
In 2012, it was time to take back this Christmas tradition. Our neighbour generously offers us a tree every year, so we rode out on our 4 wheeler, cut down a tree and brought it back to the house.
It was 1985, the first Christmas for my husband and I to be away from "home"...living in Alberta, far away from our friends and family in Ontario. I received decorations in the mail from two of my school friends. A brass reindeer, wooden rocking horse, and wooden tree with red painted hearts, all remind me of my school friendships. One of those friends has disappeared over time, but another still stays in touch even though she is now living far away in Australia.
It was 1989, my first Christmas alone with my 2 year old son after a divorce. Money was limited, and decorations were scarce. Decorations consisted of pine cone reindeer, and a small box of red balls. I still have the small white box labelled "decorations" from that year, which now many years later holds only a small portion of the decorations we use.
It was 1990, and my son made a bird decoration using pine cones and red feathers. No one but his mother recognizes that this is a bird, but I still proudly pull it out every year...and he is now 26.
It was 1991, and the first Christmas that my tree had some of my mother's favourite decorations. Breast cancer took her from us in 1982, and in 1991 our family gathered together to help my dad move from our family home. My sister and I divided up my mom's white feathered birds between us, and 1991 was the first year I had them on my tree.
It was 1992, 1993, 1994....each year my son and I painted our own decorations....each one a memory of sitting together at the kitchen table.
It was 1995, and I received my first ornament from my new partner in our new home, a lovely clear glass ball with a tiny teddy bear inside. Married now, and many years later, it still warms my heart to pull it out of it's box to hang on the tree.
It was 1996, and my dad sent me a string angel...made to raise funds for a stroke recovery group. He had a major stroke in 1982, and the doctors, who said he'd never walk again, were proven wrong. That angel will always remind me of his determination and strength.
It was the turn of the century, and we were still living in Ontario, but by now we had moved from the nation's capital to a small community in the country. For several years we received a "Nova Scotia" ornament from our son and daughter-in-law living in Nova Scotia...a lighthouse wrapped in lights, a fisherman in a yellow slicker and sou'wester, a handmade snowman by an artist. In 2008 we moved to our new province and these ornaments are reminders of the years I spent dreaming of the "someday" that we would be living in our own Nova Scotia home.
|our tree in 2012 - this year's tree will be put up on Saturday when our family arrives|