Yesterday I posted about the tradition of putting up our Christmas tree filled with ornaments that mean something to us.
Today I have another tradition to share with you.
When my brothers and cousins were little, we used to have Sunday after church dinner at my Grandma Jo’s house every single week.
One special Sunday in December was when she hauled out all of her Christmas ornaments and let us decorate her tree while she and the aunts baked Christmas cookies for us to decorate.
Decorating Grandma’s tree was so special because she kept each ornament (no matter how ridiculous) wrapped up in a piece of paper towel tucked in one of many boxes. Even though we were all bound to unwrap some syrofoam cup made into a bell, we all handled each paper toweled package as if we were unwrapping an irreplaceable treasure.
And really we were.
My grandma has been gone for almost a decade. I don’t know what happened to many of those treasures, probably thrown away with everything else that wasn’t deemed worth auctioning off or that none of us had “claimed” when we quickly went through her disheveled rooms looking for something to remember her by.
When she no longer lived at her house or decorated a tree or celebrated Christmas in this world with us, my brothers and I were still unwilling to give up the tradition of tree and cookie decorating.
So for the past few years…at least since I can remember…we have been gathering at my mom and dad’s house to have our kids decorate their tree. This is the first year that Eddie could sort of help. Jack will be six this year and has been helping grandma for as long as he can remember.
My mom doesn’t wrap everything in paper towel (despite our pleadings), but she does keep everything. If we made it in grade school? She still has it. So when she takes the old boxes down, it’s fun to remember what sorts of treasures grandma has in there.
I watched as we were all able to come out despite busy schedules and sniffling colds and other lazy Sunday plans. Grandma Jo was definitely there too…smiling on us and telling us not to lick our fingers.
Oh and ps…this cookie extravaganza? This is just the tip of the iceberg of why I cannot do McFatty during the holidays. Stay tuned in January when I decide to kick my butt in gear…just like the rest of America.