~ Our 2016 Christmas Tree, on a whim-sy and a wink to my Dad ~
I love the lights of Christmas, of the Holiday Season.
We see them at shopping centers, in restaurants, at state, municipal and town buildings, on city streets and rural roads.
We see them winding high, high into trees, beckoning us to front porches and lawns, peeking through windows, dazzling Christmas trees.
It’s the Christmas tree lights that dazzle me the most. It’s the lights of the Christmas tree that bring its ornaments – new, old, heirloom, fanciful, child created, priceless, bargain – to life.
My Dad loved decorating for Christmas. These Christmas memories are like heirloom ornaments to me. I don’t know where this love of decorating came from. My Dad grew up on a farm in Michigan. There were no luxuries. He joined the Navy at age 17. He would marry my Mom in 1950, they would have 3 children by 1954, and we traveled to wherever my Dad was stationed.
Home after home. But each Christmas season, we hung our Christmas stockings, sent and received Christmas cards, had visits from Santa. Some years, it would just be my Mom and the 3 kids while my Dad was “out-to-sea.”
But I will always remember our Christmas trees.
My Dad loved to meticulously string the lights, those big colorful ones from my childhood days. He loved placing the silvery tinsel, one strand at a time, creating a shimmering masterpiece. He loved the ornaments, five-and-dime ones and the ones us kids created. One year, my Dad came home with one of those aluminum trees and, of course, the revolving color wheel, oh my!
One Christmas season (1965, I’m guessing), my Dad came home from our local Benny’s, his go-to store for all of his fixin’ needs, with a broken little Christmas Angel Tree-topper. He fixed her. She is my most cherished Christmas decoration, from that day ’til this very season…
Well, Benny’s is still in business around these parts, and I thought I might find Christmas Angel ornaments, hopefully white and shimmery like our Angel, for each of my 4 kids and their families, at Benny’s, 50+ years later, as a gift from an Angel, my Dad.
I searched and searched my local Benny’s Christmas section, but could only find an empty shelf with a tag indicating “Christmas Angels.” They were all gone. I asked a salesperson, but the empty section was truly empty.
I thought of my Dad and his go-to attitude and wandered to another shelf of ornaments. There, I saw the most lovely white, shimmery Reindeer ornaments. Next to the Reindeer were shimmery White Stars. Below them, were shimmery White Icicles.
I knew then what our 2106 Christmas Tree was going to be ~~ a shimmery, whimsical wink and nod to my Dad and his Angel, my Dad who loved decorating our Christmas Tree each year and to the Angel who sits atop my family Christmas Tree each year. The Angel who reminds me of the magical beauty of Christmas to a farm boy from Michigan, a man who always talked about having grandchildren, but died far too young to see even one of them.
I gathered up everything white & shimmery from the shelves of Benny’s Christmas section, my Dad’s favorite store from so very long ago — $36.00 worth of ornaments — went home and created this bit of whimsy and a wink to my Dad.
His Angel, Stars below her, a night sky of prancing Reindeer and some Icicles closer to earth ~ on a farm boy’s budget…
I know that my Dad loves it!
I know my kids and grandkids will love it!
And each family will take home a $1.49 Dancing Reindeer from the Tree of 2016, a gift from my Dad!
My heart is full.