Taking Down the Christmas Decorations

By Roberta Sarver

 

Whoever thought taking down the Christmas tree would bring on a flood of tears? But it did this year.

 

Would you understand if I told you this is the first year I did it alone? This is the year our nest has been really empty. In bygone years there were children of assorted ages, helping with the task. Their dad usually makes himself scarce when it comes time to put away the decorations. There are too many breakable objects.

 

Since my other half was away on business, this year, it fell my lot to take apart and store the things.

 

Perhaps it would help if there weren’t so many poignant memories associated with those cheap little decorations. No, we don’t have an entire ceramic village nestled in cotton, with a train going around the whole thing. But there are the cloth wise men that our oldest child made when he was in first grade. And the cardboard gingerbread man another son made. There was the lone ornament that I salvaged from my childhood; it hung on our tree when I was a kid.

 

Oh, and the myriads of red bows! I remember the year we decided to decorate with them. Our children hung them on every doorknob and window sash they could find. This year our granddaughter did the honors.

 

Taking down the lights brought a fresh gush of emotion. Usually, one of our children is around to stand and catch as I untangle the strands. .

 

The ceramic nativity scene brought more memories. They were housed in the makeshift “barn” our son made in grade school.

 

And there were the ceramic angels we bought the first Christmas we first moved to our favorite place to live. Our daughter burnt red candles inside them and the wax ran out the sides. They’re still stained red.

 

So memories are treasured in those inexpensive decorations of ours. They’re a reminder that time is fleeting. Turn around and your brood is gone. Value the moments you have.

Roberta Sarver is an author and songwriter who lives in central Missouri. Her humor columns appear in the Versailles Leader-Statesman and her original songs of worship have appeared on radio stations across the nation. She and her husband are the parents of seven children.

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