"Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is.
Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!"--Tasha Tudor



Monday, January 19, 2009

Of Sharpie Markers And Shiny Brite Ornament Boxes

I finally finished putting away the last of the Christmas decorations. Please tell me I'm not the only one. As much as I enjoy decorating for the holidays, I just do not enjoy putting it all away. I do like when the last box has been packed away and there is that 'aaahhhh!' moment where things are clear and I can see the walls again, however. Very much. One tradition that I started many years ago was to write sort of a 'year end summary' as I put the last ornament away. It started on bits of cardboard ornament boxes. I'd ask everyone to tell me what they remember most from the year, or any significant things they'd like to write down. Nothing fancy, just short little things about family, school, current events. Little snippets of our everyday life. Precious everyday life. Little joys, big joys, accomplishments, job changes, puppies born, beloved pets who have gone to the rainbow bridge, moves, births, what car we were driving, passing of dear loved ones, all recorded in whatever was available to write with. Green Flair felt-tip pens and Sharpie markers, red crayons and pencils have all been summoned to scribe what came to mind on that day. Then we'd all sign our names.
We'd sign the back of the Christmas tree box, the Shiny Brite ornament box, the paper plate, the Christmas card envelope, the back of the car insurance bill, whatever was used to document the year. In my mind I have envisioned the most beautiful book that all of these memories should go into. But when I see the evolution of a pre-schooler's carefully crayoned name to the quick flick of a teenager's pen written on the pieces of the reality that surrounds us, I can't imagine any fancy velvet book could make these memories any sweeter. As I wrap each ornament, whether hand made by a child or handed down from Grandma or a gift from a friend,I know that when the season comes back around; a memory will surround me as once again it is placed it on the tree. I think that is part of why we all love to decorate so much, don't you? It is about so much more than just decorating. Because our boxes hold so much more than just ornaments. -CS ^..^

13 comments:

Maud said...

There are very beautiful ornaments in your box! I have some very old ornaments that I have got from both of my grandmothers and from my parents, and every time I put those away I remember my grandparents, who all years ago passed away, and my parents, who still live, and I very often have the fortune to see.

Your year ens summary sounda lovely! Oh what beautiful memories to look back at!

Michele said...

What a wonderful way to look back and remember years past! Thanks for sharing that with us! My favorite part of tree decorating is seeing the grade school ornaments my kids made in years past. I feel all proud and weepy as I place them on the Christmas tree.

Linda said...

What a nice idea. I'm sure you have some lovely memories to look at. I am going to mention this to my daughter as she loves this kind of idea.

natalie jo said...

I can't believe I'm actually debating taking a Christmas box out of the attic and making my family scrawl some memories out to stash back in the box! On the one hand, if I don't do so I'm sure to forget this lovely idea by next year. However, if I do follow through with it I fear the box will linger around down here until Easter... no your not the only one!
natalie jo

a corgi said...

I like your tradition! I think I'll pass that on to my young niece with her growing family; I bet she would enjoy starting that; so neat to look back on memories from year to year doing it this way!! thanks for sharing it :)

betty

^..^ Corgi Dog Mama ^..^ said...

Cat, you're ahead of me! Things are down in the basement, but still need to be sorted, carefully packed, and closed up for another year.
Sigh....it's an awful job, much more fun the other way around, getting out, and putting up.

Lorie said...

Cathy your blog is such a treat, I know I can always stop by and be treated to a magical story, a memory revisited and new traditions to start-Thank you for always uplifting my spirit and reminding me to stop and smell the roses
XO Lorie

Tanya said...

What a great idea. Very sentimental and fun too.

karlascottage.typepad.com said...

What a beautiful tradition!!!

Nigel, Sola and Co. said...

I only beat you by a few days - at least you got it put away - I just drove by a house that still had the xmas tree up!

Toni Brockliss said...

I love your blog. It's beautiful.

Ivy@PaperElixir said...

What a great tradition! I need ideas as we're starting our new family soon :) Oh and BTW, our tree is still up, hubby's supposed to put it away this week while I'm gone, but somehow I suspect it'll still be there when I'm home tomorrow :P

Anonymous said...

Lovely, Cat!
I just gave a friend a "blessing jar". Your idea is very similar. I love it!
I took forever to take my tree down too. My daughter just pointed out a Santa in the window I'd forgotten.

LaVonne