Untrimming the tree. Easier said than done, unless you just randomly toss the ornaments in a box. This year, untrimming the tree will be a little harder for me. I had mentioned in an earlier blog that I was going to do something different this year when I took the tree down. See excerpt….”So being the organized mom that I am I bought an ornament box for my oldest daughter. And this year as we untrim the tree, I will put her ornaments (and my memories) in a new box-her own special ornament tote. I don’t plan on her leaving any time soon but I figured I’ve got to be ready.”
Well that day is here. As I carefully pick and choose my oldest daughter’s ornaments, some of them hold more memories than others. The one’s she made in her school with her little girl handwriting brought back memories of the year she made them and what was going on in her life at that time. We had moved around alot so memories of where we lived came flooding back as well. Then there were the ones that she picked out for herself over the years. The “I love my dog” one caused me some tears as her dog is no longer with us. The crazy Santa ornament makes me smile. The batman ornament…well that reminded me of the time she dressed up for Halloween as Batgirl. The red and black contempoary looking ornament makes me think of her in her teen years. The one she got from being in her first play, “A Christmas Carol” reminds me of the ghastly makeup she had to wear at the age of 10, when she played the “Waif of Want”, where she looked sick, pale and near-death.
The harder ones to put in the tote were the Baby’s First Christmas ones. We actually didn’t get to them on our tree that year. But the memories they brought back took me way, way back to our very first Christmas with a baby. About 1 week before Christmas my first-born and I flew to Guam where we were meeting my husband who was stationed there. We had an early Christmas at Grandma’s and then my brave self and my 8 month old took 5 long flights nearly circling the globe to our new home on a distant island. You know there is nothing like traveling with a baby…especially traveling alone with a baby….people on a plane look at you like, “please don’t sit next to me.” But we made it!
I remember when we were getting ready to land, looking out the little window on the plane and thinking, “David, what have you gotten us into?” But it was okay, we were going to be together after having been apart for 10 weeks. I know 10 weeks is no big deal, but it was then, as we weren’t sure when we were going to be able to go, originally it wasn’t until February or April, a long time to be apart.)
For us to be able to go to Guam, my husband had to find us a place to live. There had been a typhoon back in August which caused lots of damage to the island. No dependents were allowed to come as all the military housing was full. But he managed to find us a small apartment that he could rent until we were able to move into Navy Housing. We had absolutely nothing other than the furnishings the apartment supplied. I remember my husband had bought sheets and hung them on the windows to surprise me. (A decorating no-no for sure, but he was trying.) The first thing I bought was a small decorated Christmas tree. It had to be no more than 9 inches tall. And I also got a few baby toys for Christmas. We had a joyous Christmas, a very special one as we were all together.
As far as her first baby ornaments she had quite a few, being our first and her grandparents first too. There was the one with all her birth info, date, weight and length engraved on it (as if I could ever forget). An unbreakable pink one with a baby sporting dark hair that remarkably resembled her at the time. Another Baby’s First Christmas, her first picture with Santa. to be honest I didn’t put that one in the tote today. I think I may hang onto that one for a while (or forever). We got to hang all these ornaments on the tree the following Christmas and yes we were still in Guam but surprise, we had another baby that year. She had lots of first baby ornaments too! But that’s another story and another tote!
So many memories of days long ago! I cherished each and every memory today as I took down Katie’s ornaments. Maybe tomorrow I can get the rest of the ornaments off the tree and packed away. Maybe it will go a little faster. Maybe I can get someone to help keep me on track.
So untrim your tree with memories and blessings! Leigh