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Christmas Trees and Growing Up

Mum and I put up the Christmas tree tonight. We have an artificial tree; the same tree has lasted for longer than I can remember. I can remember a real tree only once, at Grandmother's the year she decided to give her tree and a lot of the ordinary-looking decorations to Mark and Rebecca the year they didn't have one, so she and Jeffrey cut one down. Of course, that was the first year I decided to put up all the lights (Mum always did it before). I didn't wear gloves that year, and I learned my lesson.

But the decorations were what made think. As I hung the decorations--ordinary ornament balls, so many ornaments that Jeffrey and I had made over the years, those useless ornaments that I never thought Mum would keep. But she did, year after year, and they went on the tree year after year. There were the ornaments that reflected our interests of the time, too: the Ninja Turtles ornament and the Power Rangers ornament and the Tigger ornament and so many others. The tree was truly a place where a generation grew up, from making paper ornaments for their parents and choosing an ornament at the store to decorating the tree themselves.

It's the same way at Grandmother's, even though her tree isn't up yet. Some of the handmade ornaments are those of Mark and Jennifer and Cheryl from when they were younger. The idea is the same, though. Some of Jeffrey's and my ornaments are down there as well because we couldn't fit all of them on the tree at my house, just like we couldn't fit all my board games in my closet. The overflow had to go somewhere. Her tree has been modernized, though, even with all the handmade ornaments. The year she gave away all that stuff, we needed to get new ornaments, and Jeffrey and I chose really bright non-Christmasy colours--he chose a variety of bright colours and I chose hot pink for some reason that I still can't figure out. We didn't have a star that year either, so Jeffrey made one out of cardboard, painted it yellow, gave it a face and some pants, and put it at the top of the tree. We still have that star, but we have a more traditional star (or do we have an angel? I forget) at the top, and Jeffrey's star sits near the top of the tree.

Truly, a generation has grown up before my eyes. I'd say this is no surprise, but I was part of this generation. How I was totally oblivious to this is beyond me.