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Wednesday Gratitude – Summer, Sydney and Christmas Trees

By Yvette Vignando - 1st December 2010

This is part of our Christmas Tree. I took the photo this morning.

Until about 5 years ago we (I mean my husband) used to always make the pilgrimage out to the live Christmas tree farm (somewhere west of Sydney) and choose the perfectly-shaped tree, cut it down and with some difficulty, wedge it into the car next to one or two over-excited children. I never went on any of these expeditions (because the tree needed its own seat in the car) but I was the instigator of the tradition. I love the smell of a real Christmas pine tree and I love the idea of a tradition. It seemed like a perfect family expedition too – dad takes boys out to forest, cuts down tree and brings home to waiting family.

Unfortunately, although I do like a tradition and a pine-scented Christmas, I am very bad at putting things away. So we would often have a dried out, wilting, needle-shedding tree inhabit our lounge room for weeks through January. It’s hot in Sydney so sometimes the needles would be falling off the tree even before Santa had saddled up the reindeer. And my husband is also not particularly good at getting around to some things so February would usually include a massive dead tree being moved around the garden to various spots until one of the adults gave in and chopped it up for mulch.

So we gave up on that tradition and spent a lot of money on a high quality synthetic tree that I now love. But what I most love are the decorations on the tree and the memories of where we bought the decorations or who gave them to us. At this time of year, looking at the Christmas tree makes me grateful:

  • The shiny San Francisco cable car ornament = grateful for trips to the United States and the many things I have learned there.
  • The straw stars from a Basel (Switzerland) Christmas market = grateful for the magical wintery Christmas we spent in Europe before we had children.
  • The wooden Christmas tree ornament and silver wire star, just two of many ornaments given to us by friends or family = grateful that our lives are so full of generous and loving people.
  • The golden baubles painted with our children’s names = grateful for children and their creativity and wide-eyed joy at Christmas.
  • The antique glass ornaments including a teapot, a walnut and a violin, from my Nana = grateful to have had my Nana in my life and immensely grateful to the universe for making it possible for her to have escaped Nazi Germany.
  • The colourful painted instrument-playing-people ornaments we gave to our kids when we spent a Christmas in Austria = grateful  to have had the opportunity to travel with our children and for the generosity of my close friend hosting us in Austria

I have an agnostic approach to Christmas, but I still love the food, the family, the fun and the opportunity to give. What are you feeling grateful for today?

PS If you like the happychild blog, I would also be grateful if you would vote for it here in a Top 50 blogs listing - look for "Happy Child". Thank you!

Comments (1)

Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your Christmas tree pic - maybe you could decorate my tree ;-)
Jilly
www.jillystansfield.com

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