About a mile from our house begins the City of LaFayette's Christmas display, where they have put a different set of decorative lights on the power poles. This runs all the way through downtown and almost to the middle school where I used to work (I still work for the middle school, just at the 6th grade campus now). When I saw the lights come on this Wednesday, I knew that it was Christmastime, so I went home and began working on this:
We had to buy a new tree this year because some of the lights went out on our tree last year (once I discovered pre-lit trees I decided I was NEVER putting lights on a Christmas tree again) and we were both too dumb at the time to figure out how to get them to work again.
So, we saw this baby in the Home Depot and said, "YEAH! Let's get a big tree!" We are in a much bigger house this year than either of us have ever lived in. But, the one thing that we both failed to take into account was diameter. So, that separate dining room that we were both so happy about is now the home of our Christmas tree.
The first thing I said to Jeff when we got it put together was, "I think we're going to need more ribbon." But I managed to make what we had from the past five years spread out enough. At the rate I receive Christmas ornaments from students, this thing will be full by the end of this Christmas anyway;-)
I have decided that these will be my favorite Christmas ornaments this year (I actually think that they look as good sitting here on my dinning room table as they do on the tree). They were a gift to me in January. They are very precious because they were made by a Roma person, better known to the rest of the world as a Gypsy. The Roma are very poor people and very discriminated against. Many turn to crime to survive, hence their bad reputation. But, as you can see, many also develop a trade to survive.
I have a very difficult time finding memories where my dad was happy at Christmas. He was often angry, but seemed to be even more irritable at Christmastime. But this ornament represents a surprising and precious memory to me. I still to this day do not know what sparked the desire in my dad's heart to do this, but I remember that I was out with him on a trailer run one day during Christmas break when I was a teenager and my dad wanted to stop at Roger's Christmas House off of I-75. When we left there he had bought these birthstone angels for my mom, my sister, and for me. I thank God that he gave me this memory to hold on to.
I have had this ornament since I was maybe four or five years old! I remember always thinking that this was me and Ann. As kids, I was blond and Ann had brown hair. I have always been about that much taller than her, too (except of course when she was born because there is a HUGE difference between a 14 month old and an infant).
This was one of the ornaments that mom let me take for Jeff and my first married Christmas. We would have had a starkly bare tree if it weren't for mom, Linda, and the ornaments that I got from my students that first year!