how lovely are your branches.
When our kids were little they would sit for hours looking at the ornaments. They knew the stories behind each and every ornament. They knew how traumatized we were the year the tree fell over and broke some of the precious glass ornaments that had hung on their Daddy's tree as a little boy. And they remember THAT being our last "real" Christmas tree. And that's what brought about the tree from Sears. It was 1989, our youngest, Tyler, was 9 months old. My friend Angie and I and Tyler were shopping the after-Christmas sales and came upon a fully decorated floor model Christmas tree at Sears that had been marked down several times to $150.00! Without even talking to Randy, I bought it! That was so not me. They told me to give them a couple hours to take it down and box up everything. Later as they helped load it all into my van they kept throwing in boxes of lights, bags of garland, packages of ornaments, a new tree skirt, extention cords... this was over and above what came with the tree! Why were they being so generous? Well, that Sears closed a couple months later because they had plans to level the entire Mall the next year! I'm thinking they just wanted everything gone! We later calculated my impulsive purchase as retailing close to $1000.00! And after 17 years, we still think it's the most beautiful tree!
Every year when we decorate the tree as a family, we retell those stories, laughing till we're in tears... recalling the year that Tyler insisted on hanging a glow-in-the-dark Halloween bat on our tree... which we now affectionately call the Christmas Bat. We adopted these funny looking space-age glass ornaments from Randy's Aunt Evelyn, that Miranda dubbed Battlestar Galactica ornaments. They would probably bring us a chunk of change on Ebay, but our tree wouldn't be the same without them.
Shawn's favorite is the Sugar Bear ornament that came free in a box of Sugar Smacks cereal in 1990. You squeeze the bear's tummy and it plays Jingle Bells. Well, last year the music stopped. Poor little guy... so we gathered around Sugar Bear and performed open tummy surgery... I opened his tummy... Randy removed the old battery... Shawn replaced it with a new battery (which cost $8.00!)... I sewed him back up and he was as good as new! Sugar Bear lives on. Shawn is now bidding for a Sugar Bear on Ebay so he and Nicole will have their very own... the tradition lives on.