Every Year, Every Tree, Every Day Is Different
Turkey feathers hanging on this year's tree
This morning I woke up thinking about different Christmas trees that I have had in my lifetime. Of course the ones that were different stand out and have turned into beautiful memories.
One year when I was a child, my father was determined to cut a tree from our forty-two acre piece of land in Pennsylvania. I believe there were only hemlocks on that entire mountain! If you know that tree, you can imagine what the graceful, bendable branches looked like when the ornaments were hung. It looked like a well decorated, folded up umbrella.
I remember my first Christmas tree after college. I got my car stuck in the snow. But I was determined. I drug it up the stairs, decorated it, and enjoyed it all by myself. No one else ever saw that tree. My first Christmas tree was all mine.
The first tree of my married life was one of my favorites. We didn't have many ornaments so we used big Snyder pretzels pushed onto the tips of the branches.
Then there was the year that my son, somewhere around age four, wrapped up a present for Jesus and couldn't wait for him to open it the next day. The present he chose was a little wooden Santa ornament. I remember looking at it under the tree and being so conflicted about how to handle the opening of that little present and Ethan's little heart.
The first year I was back on my own with my daughter, the two of us bought a tree on Christmas eve. The big box store, the only place we could find a tree, had only one left. We somehow figured out how to tie the tree to the car right in front of the store's busy entrance. In the middle of the chaos, I realized that I had not only tied the tree to the car, but in the process had tied the doors completely shut. Anna on one side, me on the other, we climbed into the tiny car through the windows.
The chaotic holiday season when my father passed away left no opportunity to get a Christmas tree, but a friend gave me a tiny living tree that I placed in the middle of the dinner table. Somehow I pulled off a little Christmas celebration afterall.
In the past few years, art festivals have run right up to the holiday and I find it hard to get everything done. Last year, instead of a standing tree, I made a circle of pine boughs and placed the creche in the middle.
This year, like every Christmas, like every year, like every day . . . is different. I put up a tree that stood undecorated for a couple weeks. I hugged it every now and then to let it know that I hadn't forget about it. It is a difficult year and I am finding it too emotional to get out the ornaments. Finally, two days ago, I decorated my tree with turkey feathers and dried Japanese lanterns. I think my family and friends will like it today.
All Christmas days are different. My moment of reflection is past and I am going to embrace this Christmas, this Christmas tree, this day fully for the beautiful day that it is.
(reindeer moss, nigella seed pod, scallop shells, bay berries, cranberries, needles from my christmas tree, holly berries, dried pink carnations)
Celebrating how each day is beautifully different, I continue to create and photograph little nature mandalas! While I no longer create one every day as I did for the first 1,000 consecutive days of this project, I am still making many! You can follow along on my social media feeds . . .
Facebook: Beth Adoette Artist Writer