Our family has faithfully honored a number of Christmas traditions over the years. One of the “tried and true” traditions is our Christmas Eve ritual. When the kids were really young, our evening began with the annual trek to the live nativity scene at Fairy Lake in Newmarket. I just loved bundling up in warm clothes and watching the Christmas story unfold with live donkeys and pigs and little children dressed as angels perched on the park hill. However, it seems that I was the only one who really enjoyed this tradition; the kids have memories of being so cold every year that they were counting minutes until they could climb back into the car and go home! When they got older, they rallied together and in unity, revolted against this tradition. So now we go to the Christmas Eve service in the warm church instead of the nativity scene in the cold park. After church we head home for hot chocolate and then we open two presents; new pajamas and a Christmas ornament.
I have always prided myself on finding relevant, meaningful Christmas ornaments for each person in the family, something that represents a significant event that had occurred in his/her life that past year. However, with the kids getting older, it was getting increasingly more difficult to find the “right” Christmas ornament for each of them.
It was about three years ago, my son was nineteen years old and I hadn’t found him a Christmas ornament yet. To this day, I have no idea what got into me – perhaps it was stress – maybe holiday exhaustion – but Drew opened up his Christmas Eve present and found this:
I can still remember the silence in the room as everyone stared at this snow-globbed plastic icicle with silver balls stuck all over it. Drew looked at me and asked, “What were you thinking Mom?” I had no recourse, no defense, no rebuttal.
This icicle has taken front and centre branch of the Christmas tree every year since. My son just walked into the kitchen to replenish his Christmas goodie plate and I told him that he can put this ugly icicle on his own tree one day, to which he replied, “Not gonna happen, Mom.”
I have a funny feeling it will.