The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge is entitled: “Twinkle.” I love this idea because it instantly brought to mind a holiday tradition my family does every Christmas season. When my parents bought their first Christmas tree, twenty-seven years ago, they only had a few red ornaments and twinkling yellow lights. Because money was slim, they decided that they would purchase one unique, special ornament to represent their new life together. Every year since that first, as their family grew to include myself and my little brother, they continued to purchase one unique ornament that represented each person in the family.
I am twenty-four now and this practice of buying “our special” ornament is my favorite tradition. It trumps Christmas Eve chicken noodle dinner. It even makes me more excited than our habit of watching Charlie Brown’s Christmas and munching on candy from stockings while we recline in new holiday pajamas. This simple act of choosing a special ornament to put on the tree each year, lets me express myself as an individual while still contributing to my family’s overall holiday joy. Because of this tradition, our family Christmas tree has grown to bursting with color and expression and love and represents perfectly the different personalities of each of us – me, my brother, my mother, my father – as a single unit. Because of this tradition, our Christmas tree represents us as a family who has grown together to fill our house with twinkling light.
My brother and Dad add ornaments that are masculine and represent hobbies typically, and I usually add flair through feathers and vibrant colors or sparkling gems. My Mom, on the other hand, has developed her own tradition. Each year, she buys an angel ornament. Most are gorgeous, but a few are quirky or adorable. When my brother and I marry, we will take our cherished ornaments with us to our new homes to share with our future families. When that time comes, my mother will be left with a tree covered in angels and all the oddities that make my father lovable.
When I decorate my Christmas tree for the first time with my future husband, I am going to remember all the love, happiness and faith provided to me while living with my parents, and I will be excited to share the same with my own children.