Muscogee Moms Blog:
My Memory Tree
By Sara Davenport
Several of my friends scrapbook and they even have scrapbooking parties where they all get together to, well, scrapbook. My closest friends know that I do not do crafts, I certainly don’t sew anything and I am not going to scrapbook in the privacy of my own home or out in public. All that cutting, the paper, the massive amount of sticker-thingies and die-cutting machines. My husband and I own a home that was built in 1940, so I don’t have space to store all that … um … stuff, yeah, stuff.
It occurred to me this afternoon that everyone holds memories in their own personal way. Some people use scrapbooks, others use Istagram or Facebook, some people use shoe boxes. I hold my memories on my family’s Christmas tree. It’s actually perfect for me and way more practical in my opinion. Scrapbooks get dusty, rarely (if ever) do people scroll back five years on Facebook to reminiscence, and those shoe boxes get shoved into the dark, forgotten corners of a closet. I get the opportunity to gush over my memories every single year, religiously on the day after Thanksgiving, and put them out on display for all to see for at least a solid month.
After my husband and I battle over if the tree is straight and how to put the lights on the correct way, he retreats to watch football and I methodically unwrap and place each special memory, a.k.a ornament, on our tree. I like to do this part on my own, in peace and quiet. I wait for my kids to take a nap and my husband to be preoccupied with something else so I can sniffle over every little hand print Santa, preschool craft, and glittery ball. Most of my thoughts start with, “Oh I remember when ….”
I quickly scroll back to the days when my husband and I lived in England as I unwrap my Queen of England and York Minster ornaments. I think about all those fun times we had traveling Europe on weekends, drinking many pints of beer and cups of tea, and how our apartment was above this cute little bar called The Living Room.
I pull out a little pair of pink clogs from Holland and I’m immediately taken back to the time my good friend, and fellow Muscogee Mom writer, and I were in Amsterdam. I picture our hotel which had been converted from an old canal house into a fabulous hotel. From there we walked to the Ann Frank House and stood in complete silence while taking in a piece of history that, for the first time, felt real to both of us.
The red, glittery ball that my fiance’s (now husband’s) mother gave to her sisters and me and how that made me feel like part of the family for the first time.
My most prized possessions, the characters from the Wizard of Oz and The Three Little Kittens that my grandmother made for me over 30 years ago. She’s been gone for almost 10 years now and when I hang these hand-made loves on my tree I feel sadness, joy, peace, love – lots of emotions.
After the tree is fully decked, I call my husband in to “ooh” and “aww” at the masterpiece – our Christmas tree. Tonight, after the girls were tucked in bed, we sat staring at the tree while drinking Chick-Fil-A milkshakes, and went through all these fond memories together. Trips to Italy, angels my oldest daughter made out of sandpaper at a Happy Birthday Baby Jesus Celebration, styrofoam cups made into jingle bells, salt dough stars my youngest sprinkled with glitter, a tiny painting of our church, that time we did this, that time we saw that, don’t you remember when …
Some of you may choose a color scheme or theme for your Christmas tree. My theme is Memory, known to some as hodgepodge, but it’s oh so beautiful to me because our lives are literally hanging on our tree for all to see.