Wednesday, November 23, 2011

it had to happen sometime

I just got off the phone with BB2. He's good - living his life in another town. Working hard. Taking care of himself and his home and Sweetie. He's only 19, but he's so suddenly an adult. 

We had a nice chat, mostly talking Christmas plans - which is no simple equation when we have to consider his Dad's family Christmas, Sweetie's 2 parents separate Christmases, and then even just our Christmas involves finding out what's up with STG & his kids, waiting for G&G to get home from Mexico to find out their plans, and hoping against hope that he'll get the right days off. 

He was in a happy mood - he and Sweetie had just gotten back from buying their first bunch of Christmas ornaments and they are looking forward to getting their first tree. And all of a sudden it occurred to me - those special ornaments I have bought him every Christmas since he was born ... they are his now. It's time to package them up, send them to Langley, and find new ornaments to fill in my tree. 
It's a bitter-sweet moment. The intention of that tradition, one my mom started for BB1's first Christmas but that I took over, was always that when the BBs have their own trees the ornaments would give them a start on their own trees, and a connection to Christmas past.

It's been fun - there have been some great ones, like the light-up Mickey Mouse & frozen bowl Pluto that they opened in Vancouver International Airport as we awaited our Christmas morning flight to Disneyland, and the blown glass soldier from when BB2 was in cadets. And there have been 'oh man I'm out of money and still need to get ornaments' Dollar Store and craft options. Many are from craft fairs. Some are a little worse for wear. Most tell a story from the year that reminds us where we've been and what we've done. Some are lovely and generic and just because.

Turns out we don't really have one for every year. Their dad kept some that were discarded when someone else took over trimming that tree. A few have broken. But for 22 years they've been the highlight of my tree. 

It's not the end of the tradition - the BBs will continue to get an ornament in their stocking until there are grandbabies for me to dote on instead ... and maybe even then. I guess there's time for new highlights. Maybe an 'our first year together' ornament for STG and I. Or something just for me.

Everything is as it was intended to be. BB2 is putting up his first tree, and it will be trimmed with as many of his special ornaments as I can find. And I will pine (or more likely Douglas fir - ha!) over the bare spots in my tree this year. 


  1. At Thanksgiving my mom was telling stories about when I moved out and went to college and how it changed the Holidays.

    This felt like her stories but sweeter and with less peach schnapps

  2. lovely post! I still have some battered old decorations from my Mom (years old!) and they bring back some lovely memories - they sit slightly incongruously beside the new decorations on the tree - but I wouldn't be without them!

  3. Lance, I'm more of a peppermint schnapps kinda girl ... or tequila. HA HA.

    Alyson, I'm sure your mom enjoys knowing you still have the ornaments as much as you enjoy displaying them. :)


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