We all went to my dad’s tonight to decorate his Christmas tree. He ordered some sandwiches, I brought some Christmas cookies and after we ate we got to work decorating. His tree is huge and there are hundreds of ornaments. Mom would never had settled for a little tree. The number of ornaments would never allow for that! After Tim and Dave got the tree standing, Tim, Drew and I hung the lights. Drew, Gabi and Mikey all found ornaments that they had given to mom and they hung those themselves. Kathi got to work organizing all the “sets,” they all had themes and since they were handmade, mom was very particular about them all hanging together. Dad sat on the couch and directed where certain ornaments MUST be hung. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and Mr. and Mrs. Snowman are always displayed proudly at the top of the tree so we used DJ for his height to get them up there without a ladder. We had to search through several boxes to find one that our Aunt Ellen had made them when they were first married. She is coming for Christmas this year and dad wanted to be sure that it was hung prominently on the tree.
The first ornament that went on the tree wasn’t homemade. I don’t even remember where it was from. It looks fairly new. It was the first one Drew pulled out of the ornament box. It was a simple circle with the letter E in the middle. We hung it front and center on the tree. The kids chose ornaments that we will bring to the cemetery this weekend. For Francine, they chose a glittery, silver, shiny, ornate one. . It totally screamed “FRANCINE”, it was so her! Even Tim agreed it was perfect. For mom, they chose one that read, “Best Grandma.” My grandfather is buried there too and so is my great aunt Dee, so we found one for each of them as well.
It was hard to be completely in the spirit of Christmas, but the kids were having so much fun and watching them, it was hard not to feel the joy. It brought back so many memories from when we were little. That anticipation of Christmas and how hard it is to wait!! What they were hoping to get…. all the same conversations we always had as kids. My dad kept saying how proud mom would be and how much she’d love the way we decorated it this year. In the past, mom was always very particular about the tree that they would get. Their trees weren’t always perfect, often lopsided sometimes too tall, or too fat, but I have to say, this year, the tree really is one that mom would have loved and seeing it filled with all of her ornaments I think my dad is right.