Opening the box of tree ornaments takes the lid off of memories. We are long past the point where our ornaments are merely decorative. Each one evokes a flash of recognition of a time or place or person.
The wooden star, decorated with crayon and hung with yarn, that Frank and Betsy made in his workshop when she was very young. The tiny glass bird that catches the light, only one of a flock of birds that were gifts from our friends Peter and Fay. Memories of Bretton Woods and Alaska; Puerto Rico, and Disney World are tucked between the branches. Pictures and handmade counted cross messages, in frames hung with ribbon, that mark Christmases of years gone by. And this year, the tiny puffin. Today, and in years to come, it with conjure up memories of a happy trip to Iceland.
Decorating the tree is a long process punctuated with ,”Do you remember?” As it should be. The most beautiful decorations are those that are hung trailing wisps of happy memories.