Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wishing you a Magical Christmas

Christmas means different things to different people. Traditions abound. Family traditions are as different as the families who have them.

I'd like to share one of ours. We call it The Cookie Tree.

Each Christmas, my mom's dad and brothers would go get a tree. They unfailingly got one too large for the house. Gram, a firm believer that waste was a sin, would roll her eyes, heave a huge sigh, cut off the top (giving the tree a "flat top" long before the hairstyle became popular), and set it in a bucket of sand. When we visited a Christmas, that tree top would be decorated with cookies and candy canes and other edible goodies just for the grandchildren.

One year, Gramps and the uncles got it right. There was no Cookie Tree, just lots of disappointed kids.

It never happened again.

When I married, we lived far from the Grands, so I bought a wee artifical "Cookie Tree" for my children. We'd bake cookies, using a straw to make the holes for ribbons to hang them. Stringing popcorn became a contest to have the fewest holes in their fingers. Finding ways to hang "good for them" things became a game. (Fruit Loops on clear fishing line make a festive garland.)

The children would, of course, be up with the birds, but they weren't allowed to touch anything until we joined them, so, of course, they woke us---but not until after they raided the Cookie Tree.

That tree allowed my sweetheart and me to catch a few extra winks on Christmas morning.

Life took a turn, and that little tree--and most of what we owned--ended up in storage for a while. The children were teens the first Christmas in our new home, yet the very first thing they pulled down was that scraggly tree.

My son married. A must have purchase? A Cookie Tree.

And so a tradition continues.

Traditions should create wonderful memories. I know ours do (and the Cookie Tree is just one of many.)

Please feel free to share your traditions here. Who knows? It may become a tradition elsewhere and you will have given a gift of smiles.

Wishing you and yours a Blessed and Joyful Christmas.

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