Glad My Daughters Dig My Holiday Tradition

Donetta Sifford

     Am I the only one who realized today was the 10th and for a moment felt panicky wondering how Christmas snuck up so fast?  There are several things I am glad that are finished.  After a busy day of running errands,  I finally had time to sit down and talk to my daughters about their day at school.  My 1st grader then produced a note with instructions on it on how to make a homemade wreath ornament.  Once I had her and my 5th grader tucked into bed with visions of sugar plums hopefully dancing in their heads,  I stepped back and looked at our Christmas tree.

     I have had many deaths in my immediate family and this includes my grandparents that raised me.  When I first ventured out on my own after highschool and lived in my first place, that Christmas my granny pulled out ornaments that touched my heart.  She had a wreath I had made her myself in kindergarten from 1981 and a couple other ornaments that were mine from school.  My first Christmas away from home, after adding these ornaments to my tree, I ended up buying a sand dollar ornament as a symbol of my new found freedom.  When my grandmother passed away in 2000,  I held onto an angel ornament she had well before I was born.  By this time,  I had accumulated 6 different ornaments, one for each year since I had moved.  

     Carrying on with this tradition, I have had ornaments made at The Christmas Store in Pigeon Forge, Tn.  I have ornaments that belonged to my mother and aunt, both deceased.  I had several friends had made me.  With my oldest daughter's arrival in 2002,  I had quite a collection, which of course carried on with her first Christmas.  Her fascination is with an ornament I had made once again at The Christmas Store in Tn. in 2003 with her name on it.  I was blessed with my youngest daughter in 2006.  Ornaments with her name or made for her of course began covering the tree.  I have a very good friend who carves the most magnificant things from wood.  He has taken the time each year to carve my daughters and myself an ornament. 

     Tonight as I took in all the specialness of our tree, it warmed my heart.  My daughters both received ornaments from a close friend a few days ago with their names and year on them.  To me though, the most special ones are the ones my children have made in school.  It is so touching to see my wreath from 1981 along side their wreaths from pre-school and up.  Now to see my first grader excited to show me she was making another special ornament, I am so glad I began doing this each year since 1995.  Smiles are on both of their faces as they hang their special ornaments, which we save until the last part.  I hope it is a tradition they continue with even once I'm gone and pass on to my grandchildren.  To me, this is what Christmas is about.......... the special things people do as a family and it becomes a huge part of bonding.  I cannot wait to see my 6 year old's wreath tomorrow!

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