Saturday, December 24, 2005

Traditions are hard to kill

Ornaments at R&As, December 2005.

Much like Z, we have traditions around here. Who doesn't really? I guess people who like to reinvent themselves over and over again. Me, I like things to be the same, even if it kills me at first.

Take our Christmas tree, I love it now, I hated it when its decor first graced my apartment many moons ago. Picture this, cranky grad student, hating her thesis, her job, her life. Her girlfriend, in hopes of cheering her up, sneakily goes and buys her a tree and ornaments, because she has never really had a tree before. She lived in a group house with someone with great decorations and loved, it, she had a family 5 miles away with a lovely tree, she fought with her previously girlfriend about the moral dilemna of cutting a tree. Frankly, she was scared of the whole tree thing and was just waiting to go home to her parent's tree. Her current girlfriend left each Xmas to spend it with her family, thus she would be spending the holiday alone.

So, imagine when she came back from going out with her grad school cronie, C, to find a tree in her studio apartment filled with ornaments and lights because her girlfriend wanted to cheer her up? Imagine how she felt when the tree was nothing like the tree she grew up with? It had colored lights and some tinsel and glass balls and silly bears on it. As much as she loved it for the love that went into it, it just wasn't her tree.

However, the amazing love and effort that went into the shopping for ornaments, hiding them and schelping of the tree was what really counted. When I went to Berkeley the following year, I saw a tree of blue and green with a few white and ornaments from TH's childhood, while it was not what I grew up with, it was still beautiful.

Today, I still love these trees, I have grown used to the green and blue lights of TH's childhood that grace the tree here. I covet the same silver, green and red glass balls that we have managed to keep whole for the last 15 years and the bears and elephants and various glass balls that festoon it. We add ornaments every year and sometimes we do a small tree with white lights to sooth my need for white, but now I feel this tree shimmering with blue, green and turquoise (don't ask) lights is just right.

So, I think I better get to my baking, eh? I am not sure how I feel about grating butternut squash and g-d help me if I forget to pick up the centerpiece for the table today.



jk said...

my sister would prefer small white lights ONLY. i prefer colored, large bulbs. The compromise seems to be colored small bulbs.

no blinking!

Z said...

I like multi colored lights and our old tree had toy ornaments and candy garland. I miss it. Hanukkah doesn't even come close. I love the picture you have here...I love those little glass ornaments. My dad didn't do the tree this year...but even so, I miss the tree and ornaments of my childhood and I have no idea what became of them.

jk said...

we never did lit a menorah until I was in elementary school and parents both grew up with trees, and passed the tradition along. We'll light candles tonite, but giftgiving is confined to xmas day.

nm said...

I think we're going to make a trip next christmas season to visit N and see how the K's do the tree.

Or, maybe you all can schelp out for xmas cookie decorating?