Joy from Corrine Lussier
"That Vintage Tree"
Living in Southern, one’s mental image of a classic winter wonderland is a far cry from reality. I can remember many a Christmas getting ready for the festivities only to be putting on shorts, and my grandparents cranking the air conditioner to just mimic the “cold” atmosphere we were supposed to be having. When it comes to Christmas traditions I suppose Southern Californians have to get quite creative, as chopping down a Christmas tree is probably not as fun or accessible. This is why I absolutely adore the receiving of an ornament every year.
This tradition has been passed down for three generations, starting with my lovely great-grandmother who recently went to be with the Lord. My mother recalled every Thanksgiving as a child arriving to her house and having an ornament at her place setting. My great grandmother gave us all great- grandkids the most vintage looking ornaments. Back then they used to be silver and gold metal, and then some would be painted. She was only able to find ones like that till I was 16. They just don’t make them like they used to.
That tradition was then passed to my grandmother who brings home from all her different adventures abroad the most unique treasures to go on my tree. My favorite is by far the ornament she brought back from Italy. It looks like a postcard with a very European looking Santa Claus. The outer edges are decorated with glitter. It is quite delightful to have ornaments from different parts of the world.
My mother is now the last person in our family that participates in the tradition. She gave me my very first “Sleeping Beauty” ornament. I now have a small tree specifically dedicated to my “Sleeping Beauty” ornaments. It is a delightful collection that I have. By the time I married, I had enough ornaments to cover not one, but three different trees, in which many different family members like my mother-in-law and my other grandma participate giving me an ornament to match my personality or from their adventures.
Some may think it a bit excessive that my family can acquire that many ornaments, but I don’t believe in buying a bunch of what my family calls “filler” ornaments. You know the ones you buy from Walmart in different color combinations? I believe that ornaments are meant to be hung with you recalling a different memory on each branch. It makes trimming up your tree truly a family event, and something to have a conversation over.
This year will be a difficult year, as the tradition started with a woman who made Christmas very special for my family, and is now celebrating with her loving Savior, but there is something to be said about those vintage ornaments that started a family tradition from long ago. I look forward to the day that I can start collecting ornaments for my children and keeping that memory of my great-grandmother alive.
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