Age 1 – Oh! Oh! Look at the twinkling lights! I’ve never seen anything like this! Look at the shiny balls—Wouldn’t they taste good…? Mommy, why are you running and pulling me away? Do you always get so excited?!
Age 5 – I LOVE the pink Teddy Bear ornament from Grandma! And the Santa ornament from Uncle Joe. And the ballerina! And candy canes! They’re the best! And Santa’s coming, and we’re going to leave him some cookies! I LOVE Christmas!
Age 10 – Christmas Tree? Oh yeah, it’s pretty. There are presents underneath, all for me—right?!
Age 15 – Family Christmas Tree? Yeah, I guess it’s OK. Gotta run now—The kids are all going to the mall. Can I stay out late?
Age 18 – Did you see the beautiful ornament that Jerry gave me, right up in front? He must really love me!
Age 21 – My first Christmas tree in my first apartment! It won’t be anything like Mom and Dad’s mishmash old tree—MY tree will have all white lights, and red and gold ornaments, and brass bells tied with red ribbons, and loops of garland….
Age 27 – Sure, Honey—Let’s hang the “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament right in the front, where Jennifer is sure to see it!
Age 30 – Two more “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments to share the spotlight! Isn’t it great that Aunt Edie began the tradition of giving each of them a special ornament each year? And our “First Home Together” ornament! And the “Clothespin People” we painted during that snowstorm… and the walnuts painted to look like strawberries! Wasn’t that a great day?
Age 40 – No, kids, we really like our tree full of memories! Our ornaments remind us of places we’ve traveled and people we’ve loved. We wouldn’t trade that for a “fancy” tree!
Age XX – Well, the kids are grown, and we can have a more sophisticated tree in our new home. We’ll use lots of gold and white ornaments, and a golden angel, and white ribbons…. Ummm, it’s beautiful…. but isn’t something missing….?
…OK, so that’s what a “fancy” tree looks like! …. Now, where are the ornaments from Jennifer’s preschool days? Jeff’s Cub Scout ornament? Jerry’s silly Santa in the bathtub? the astronaut? the buffalo? the plastic clown? …. Let’s add them, too…. Yes, I remember them all.
Now THAT’S a Christmas tree!!