365 Days of Earrings

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

360 degrees and Christmas Trees

This morning I packed my bag for a drive into the conifer forests of Pennsylvania for our annual post-Christmas visit with my husband's family.

I wore a pair of red and blue paper pine tree earrings. (I forgot my camera's card reader at home, so I'll have to wait to post the photo.) These were a gift from my daughter Phoebe last Christmas. I saved them for today, the day after Christmas, a day when I leave our Christmas tree, and get view the decorated trees in homes belonging to three generations of my husband's family. All three trees were cut from my brother-in-law's Christmas tree farm, Tippery Pines.

This year, atop our neice's tree is a glowing green square light that reminded me of a small TV screen. 

"We didn't have a tree topper, but there was that empty plug on top of the tree. So we plugged in a night light," said Julie. "It's perfect!" Nine month old Heidi was crawling beneath the tree, while her sister Hazel, aged two and a half, handed out drums for us all to play. Their tree is the tree of a young family--not too crowded, especially down low where little hands might reach.

Julie's parents' tree is not so tall as the one she and Jake chose for their cathedral ceilinged living room. Beth and John's low ceiling allows a shorter tree, but one laden with far more ornaments, each a memory of their 38 years of marriage. Gifts from friends, souvenirs of trips, hand-made creations.

Grandma and Grandpa's tree is tiny. It stands on a table in the mobile home where they now live, nestled in the midst of the Christmas Tree farm, between their daughter's home and the house that once was theirs, but now houses granddaughter Julie and her family. Their little, scraggly tree holds only the most precious of memories now; so many others once loaded the branches of the large tree that filled a corner of their living room in the home where I first visited them 30 Christmases ago.

It wasn't until I started typing that I realized today is day 360. The 360th day of 2011. The 360th day of my blog. A good day to think about the circle of life. Coming 360.

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