Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mantle disornamented

"Took down Christmas" this afternoon. It's a strange expression meaning the packing away of Christmas decorations for another year, but it sounds like a wrestling term. Indeed, I am struggling with emotions as this year ends. Putting away the ornaments I had set on the fireplace mantle really got me weepy.

With three full-grown sons and their friends hanging out in the condo living room watching bowl games, we need the space taken by the Christmas tree. The tree ornaments are such a powerful connection to Fritzi that it's tough to put them away for another year. It's good to know that unpacking each decoration next December will be like opening the windows on an Advent calendar to find the joy and generosity of the Christmas season.

For twenty-five years, or basically all my adult life, my mother and I shared a joy of creating or finding perfect ornaments to remember the year. Each ornament I wrap and pack away is a combination of holiday cheer, charm bracelet, time capsule, and childhood scrapbook. We have ornaments to remember teddy bears, windmills, charcoal grills, ice-skating, school bus rides, fishing trips, firetrucks, 10K races, and aquarium fishes. Many remind me of the intense and loving involvement my mother had with her little grandsons, and her appreciation of the fine young men they became.

Someday these sons will create new homes and families. I will say a sad farewell to the ornaments Fritzi chose to acknowledge each boy's accomplishments when they migrate from our Christmas tree to theirs. I pray that each son will choose a partner who appreciates such simple and meaningful family traditions. I hope each of Fritzi's grandsons will feel her love and pride in them every Christmas.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

I put the the last Christmas box away on its shelf in the shed today. Personally, I felt old this Christmas. I looked at myself, and I was doing all the things that my mom should be here doing.