Growing up we had one pink light bulb on one string out of the ten we
put on the tree. Every year we watched with anticipation as the string
containing the pink bulb was tested before placed it on the waiting branches.
We always made sure it was findable in the front. No one knew where it came from, and there was no replacement lying in wait. It lasted 22 years.
Christmas trees are erected and lit in the houses you’re invited to over the
holidays. Doug Firs, Scotch Pines, Nobles, sometimes aluminum trees.
Often the front doors welcome you with swags or wreaths. A wreath might have a wired-in sprig of holly, the swag a velvet bow, but oh those trees, nothing can match the ornamentation of family culture and history. The history may be this year’s trip to Michael’s craft store, or it may be the fourth generation string of half-broken beads. Either way, it’s all sacred.
Next hot-toddy party you’re invited to, next potato pie supper, next egg nog slog, take a look at the tree and its ornaments. Ask about one that grabs your curiosity. After all, someone took a great deal of time to pick the tree, unbox the ornament
boxes buried under the old stair, and place their favorites on the tree just so.
Our tree this year has a brown teapot from 1950, a German troll with a pierced ear,
and a contemporary orange spiral we call The Sperm.
Every ornament has a story, untold unless asked.