I can envision him showing his children how to decorate with garlands and putting on ornaments, and one day, he will be the one in charge of the special tree....
When I was around 2 1/2 I went to live with my parents and the first Christmas I spent with them, my mom and I decorated the tree together. I don't remember the first time we did the tree together, but over the years, I remember all the times that we have decorated the tree. From deciding to collect angel ornaments when I was around 5-6, as I had seen a tree decorated somewhere covered in angels and I wanted our tree to look like that, to always playing Christmas carols and often finishing with a cup of cocoa, our tree was the heart and embodiment of our Christmas spirit and Christmas traditions.
When I moved into my house with my husband, 4 years ago, my mom moved to a smaller house and decided to downsize her tree. They just didn't have the space in their new house for the large, 9 foot tree. I was worried about what would happen to the family tradition, as we had used those garlands, those ornaments and those decorations, collected over my lifetime, every year. She explained that it was now my time to take over the tradition of decorating the family Christmas tree. Every year, I decorate the tree in my living room, one garland, one ornament, one memory at a time and one year, William will help me. This year, I was worried about my darling whirling dervish wrecking havoc on the tree and ornaments that have truly stood the test of time, so again, I did it myself. Yet, every year it isn't the Christmas season until my mom's tree is decorated and her house is ready for Christmas.
After she downsized, she went with a unique, white twig tree and started decorating that every year. New ornaments mixed with a few prized handmade ornaments from her mother and mother-in-law into a special and new tradition. This year, though, she insisted I bring my darling Tasmanian devil - I mean my son - with me. She explained that we needed to keep going with the tradition and it was time to include him in decorating the tree. I agreed, although I was worried about the possible damage, because my mom and I are big on traditions and if she said it was time, it was time.
I realized, while I watched my mom and son laugh and chase after the beaded garland that usually hung so neatly and precisely on the tree, while looking back through all my memories, was that the tree itself wasn't about perfection, but the joy and love of being together to create a memory and continue a tradition. We've kept it going for over 60 years, passed from grandmother to mother to daughter and now from daughter to son, as this was his first year helping with the tree.
I look forward into our future, my sons and mine, and although he is young, I can envision him showing his children how to decorate with garlands and putting on ornaments. One day, he will be the one in charge of the special tree - the one with the antique ornaments, the memory ornaments and all the angels, in his living room. After all, they are called traditions for a reason.