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It’s early. And quiet. And the tree is on…

I am supposed to be doing something else right now; but I can’t. I am completely wrapped up in magic and memories this morning. So I succumb to the moment. I turn on some relaxing music, my “Spa Christmas” CD (not kidding.), light a Christmas candle and pour another cup of hot coffee. We need to chat…

You see, I realized something very, very important this morning.

Our Christmas tree is magical.

Here’s the deal. Over the years our tastes have changed, decorations have come and gone, we have even moved from house to house. But something significant occurred to me this morning. Our Christmas tree is different. It defines us as a family. It is the one true constant that ties every single Christmas together throughout the years.

We are not a fancy tree family. No white lights, Waterford crystal and Christopher Radko ornaments here, my friends. Our lights are bright and multi-colored; our ornaments an eclectic combination of wonderful memories. A snapshot of who we are as a family.

A Chiefs ornament that my sweet (widdle) hubbie made as a kid in 1971; a Santa walking his 3 little pigs (that’s mine!), a collection of treasured ornaments given to my kids every year from their grandparents, our very own “Christmas Vacation” squirrel, a beautiful assortment of treasures hand-painted by my (very talented) mom…

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We have decorated this tree together as a family for more than 24 years. When it comes to our favorites (Mom & Dad), however… that is easy. We have a little box that houses all of our very, very favorite little treasures. Most of them date back 20+ years to the preschool days. Our precious little angels –  perfectly framed in construction paper stars and sequins. Glittered teddy bears with crooked little googly eyes hand-crafted by two adorable little three year olds. Priceless. And, without a doubt, magical…

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In the quiet of this magical morning, as I was snapping pictures of our beautiful tree – I was overcome with emotion… the treasured memories of days gone by. An intense happy and sad at the same time. Our son moved to Dallas in the fall. He was home for Thanksgiving, and it felt beyond wonderful to have both of my kids home at the same time again. As a family, we treasured every single moment together xoxoxoxo  And although our time passed so very quickly, we were able to accomplish one very, very important thing before he left. We decorated the tree. Our magical tree…

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For those of you who may not believe in the magic of Christmas, allow me to share one final thing. As I was reminiscing this morning, completely wrapped in a warm blanket of memories from the past, I was also very focused on the happiness of this given moment. The present; a gift. A thought suddenly occurred to me. What about our kids? I wonder what favorite memories and traditions they will carry with them into THEIR futures? Our daughter LOVES Christmas, her family and tradition. I think it is safe to say that she will probably take a lot of her memories of Christmas past into her future. My son is also very family oriented, but decorating for Christmas was never a real “priority” for him. When they were little, both of my kids each had their own little tree in their rooms. Santa would always leave one little gift under their (room) tree on Christmas Eve… if it was up!! My daughter had one tree with lights AND three bright tinsel trees plus an entire collection of her own ornaments that she had collected over the years. No problem there, Santa. My son? Well that was a completely different story. Trying to get him to decorate his one little (room) tree was next to impossible. That is, until he finally figured it out. He started hiding the little tree (completely decorated) in the back of his closet from year to year. From that point on, it was never a problem.

So you are probably wondering, as I was this morning, what special memories will he carry into his Christmas future…? He is on his own now for the first time, far from home at Christmas time. He lives alone and although he will be back in Kansas City a few days before Christmas, I was sad thinking that that he would not have any “Christmas” in his new apartment over the next few weeks. It was at that very moment that a text came through on my phone. “Mom, I’m thinking about getting a Christmas tree… Any chance you could send my ornaments? They should be in the back of my closet.”

I cried. Yes, sweetie. I know where they are.

And that is the story of the magical Christmas tree. The end. 

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