Grateful for Tradition

Christmas 2011
I first saw this tree in 1983 when I visited my husband's family one Christmas before we were married.  I found it  horrifying, incredibly tacky and an affront to Christmas.  Luckily there was a large, fully decorated real tree which held a prominent place in the living room and "silver" was relegated to the family room.

I couldn't imagine that anyone really liked that tacky old tree and I figured the kids were humouring their mother each evening when we sat in the family room and someone would turn on the rotating multicoloured light that sent a repetitive pattern of blue, green and red reflecting off the scraggly branches.

I voiced my suspicions to Bob and Peter, my future brothers-in-law, and they smiled kindly at the naive twenty-one year old and attempted to enlighten me.

The Young family celebrated Christmas for twenty years in Venezuela where there was a definite dearth of pine, spruce and fir trees.  There were a few trees brought into the American camp where they lived, but by the time they arrived they didn't have many needles left on them and the ones that remained couldn't cling to the dry branches for long.  This Christmas tree was the tree of all of their childhood Christmases and with the tender loving care of my mother-in-law and more recently Bob and Naomi, it has lasted more than fifty years.  

There's something to be said about family tradition.  Once I became a part of the generous and loving Young family this homely little tree grew on me within a few short years.  It's become as much a part of my Christmas as turkey and christmas pudding.  I'm going to miss not seeing it this year.  Bob and Naomi have the perfect spot for it and it's a  lovely sight to watch the rising sun reflect off the glittering branches in the morning.  I would be thrilled to have it my own home and I've been keeping my eye out for something similar over the last few years.

On this Gratitude Monday I'm most grateful for family traditions, and I'm also grateful for:

the fact that I'm feeling so much better. There's nothing like a bout of bad health to make you appreciated the simplicity of being able to breathe without coughing, sneezing or having to blow your  nose.

Oil of Oregano.  I started feeling better after a couple of treatments.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  I'm just happy I'm on the road to recovery.

that there was nobody in the other lane when I turned from Gordon to Dehart yesterday.  I turned my wheel but the car decided to take the scenic route and visited the opposite lane before returning to my own.  

the ABS on my car.  The intersections were treacherous and even though I was crawling along I still had a couple of close calls.

for the company that looks after our city streets.  Despite my complaints of their slow reactions yesterday morning, with afternoon thaw followed by freezing temps overnight I'm sure the roads were much safer this morning as a result of judicious applications of sand yesterday.


  1. This story softens even my hard stance against fake trees. Sentiment trumps all.

    1. LOL, I was thinking of you because of your comment on that white one when I was writing this. I'm with you. Other than the sentimental, real trees are the best. And that fact that David Suzuki says get a real one rather than fake really helps my anti-artificial stance!


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