An angel with one wing sits atop our Christmas tree.
Tired and worn her fair hair is disheveled and her white lace dress yellowed and faded. She is far from the beautiful treasure she once must have been.
She makes me smile though, this angel.
Christmas two years ago, Dave’s mum gave this precious Christmas decoration to our then one-year-old, Curly-locks. Giving this special memento to a toddler who through no fault of her own would not be gentle with it, was an act of kindness.
It was a case of love at first sight for Curly-locks and the angel, who became inseparable until the angel lost a wing in an overzealous hugging incident.
When we brought the angel out of her safe house over the weekend, a soft smile formed on Curly-locks’ lips and her eyes flickered with the memory of the times they had shared together. There was no question that this angel’s home for the next few weeks would be pride of place on top of our tree.
And what a tree it is – an 8ft beauty which we inherited over the weekend from Dave’s mum. As we decorated the tree, I was quick to discover that we hadn’t just inherited a Christmas tree and box full of mismatch decorations, we had inherited a tree full of memories. As we pulled decoration after decoration out of the box, Dave or his mum regaled us with stories of their origins.
There were stories of friends from faraway places and of adventures to European Christmas markets.
And stories of decorations made by Dave’s grandfather and of decorations that Dave’s nan and mum once had on their own Christmas trees.
Memories and emotions swirled around us as we buoyed between yearning for those no longer with us and knowing that we were passing on the traditions of our family onto the next generation.
A designer tree, ours is not. It is a memory tree, our family’s unfinished story that we will add chapter after chapter to year after year.
Do you have a Christmas tree decorating tradition in your household?