And the seasons, they go round and round……
I have always loved the Christmas season and all the festivities that go with it—receiving cards and letters from old friends; getting together with family and neighbours to warm our hearts and hands over cups of hot tea or mugs of steamy cider; freeing old decorations from their tissue paper wrappings and putting them and all the memories they carry with them on display; decorating the tree; baking cookies; finding the perfect gift for that special person and anticipating their glee when they open it; playing Christmas music; walking snowy streets at night to see all the brightly lit houses; and...oh,on and on the list could go.
One tradition I started years ago when the girls were little was a "Tree Decorating Party". It would be held on the last Saturday in November or the first Saturday in December, and was a very festive day indeed. Grandma and Grandpa and other friends were invited to come help decorate the tree and then stay for dinner. When everyone arrived shortly after lunch, the tree would be up and all the decorations set out ready to be hung on just the right branch, the Christmas music queued up to play, the salty snacks and sweet treats ready to munch, and all of us ready to dig in and have some fun.
Grandma usually sat and threaded ornaments or untangled garland, while grandpa helped. AC and I would string the lights up while the others would direct us to where we had an empty space or a burned out bulb. As the girls got older, Butterfly and Lady Bug would string the lights while AC and I directed the operation. Once the lights were positioned just so, everyone would add decorations until the tree was finished and then we would have the grand lighting ceremony when it got dark. Coats would be donned and we would all go out to the street to see what the tree looked like through the front window too. Once everyone oohhed and ahhhhed over how pretty it looked from the outside, we would come back in for dinner, games and a fun family evening around the tree. Oh I have so many fond memories of those parties.
As the years passed, the girls moved away from home and friends and family members moved on too or found it hard to travel, so it became impossible to get together for our tree decorating party.
We had to change as the seasons of life changed and adapt to them as best we could. AC and I decorated the tree alone for a few years, but we still made a party of it. We played Christmas music, had snacks to munch on and then we would go out for dinner. Last year we didn't put a tree up at all, because for the first time in years, we didn't have any family coming home for Christmas. We travelled to them after Christmas for a late celebration of the holidays. We made our quiet Christmas at the farm as fun and festive as we could and had the most unique Christmas tree ever up at Riverwood.
Yes, this has been a year of major upheaval in our lives as we find ourselves on the other side of the province now, but once again close to family. My heart jumped for joy the other day when Butterfly invited us to her house for her first Tree Decorating Party. The torch has been passed, the tradition continues. and we happily move on to the next phase of our lives.
We will all gather at her house after lunch today to help decorate her tree. Perhaps I will sit on her couch and thread ornaments or untangle garlands, and AC will help me while the young'uns string lights on the tree.
And the seasons they go round and round……