They did a great job; we left the tree the way they did it.
I remember when my grandmother lost interest in having a Christmas tree. She gave up the real tree first and bought a seven foot, silver tree on which she put the old ornaments, without the lights. As she aged and began to lose her memory, my uncle replaced that tree with a small table top one. While my uncle was alive, Nan had a Christmas tree, even when she didn't remember what it was. She enjoyed it though and pointed it out when you visited.
Long after Nan was gone, my mother scaled down her Christmas tree too, from real to artificial at first. Then she had a table top tree which we coaxed her to use and decorate. She did so to please her family but she had lost interest in the festivities.
Now, I know too. When we put up the tree for the girls, I thought of the women in my family and finally, I understood how they felt. When I was encouraging Nan to decorate for Christmas, I was a child caught in the excitement of the season. "How can you not have a tree, Nan?"
With Mom, I was in the child-rearing phase of life, caught in the flurry of life and events we create for and celebrate with our children. Nan and Mom had done that same thing, in the way common for their prime of life. As they aged, they went along with the decorating because they were part of our family and wanted to please us.
Our tree has some of the ornaments from family Christmas trees of years gone by.
The ornaments have been passed along, wrapped with care and used on various trees over the years. They have no monetary value but they tell their own story about the circle of life. In that way, they are priceless.
One day, my daughter will understand too.
The women in my family