December 5, 2007

My favorite holiday

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 10:41 pm by Jenn


Seveal weeks ago I reconnected with an old high school classmate (Ruth).  Ruth invited me to join her in a blogging journal group called Thirty Voices .  I was thrilled at the thought of actually having a weekly commitment so I inquired about joining the group and was accepted.

Each week there is a Posting Challenge which we can either accept or chose to write about when inspired to do so.  Since I’m new to the group I am kind of in catch up mode.  Today I accepted the Posting Challenge question #11

This is what I wrote…

My favorite holiday?  Without a doubt Christmas!  I love the sparkle, the colors, the smells.  I love the television shows, the movies, the music.  I love the symbolism, the meaning and the stories, but the thing I love most about Christmas is the Christmas tree.

We have had an artificial tree for the past few years but I especially love going to the Christmas tree farm in the cold with a cup of hot chocolate, walking around and picking out my own tree.  Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes.  The right tree will speak to you.  I always know “the one” when I see it.


Perhaps I love Christmas trees because I also love Christmas ornaments.  When I was a child it was a tradition to receive an ornament every year.  By the time I moved away from home, I had enough ornaments to decorate my very first tree.  Decorating the tree for some is a burden, but for me it is a time of reflection, and remembrance.  I love taking the ornaments out of their bubble wrap protection and just looking at them.  Each ornament holds a precious memory of a friend or family member.  It takes time to walk around the tree and select just the right place for the ornament.  I want them to hang just right, have just the right amount of light and greenery around them.  With an artificial tree it makes it easy because the branches move, a real tree is a bit more of a challenge.  Sometimes the right ornament for a space needs to be purchased or crafted.


Of all my ornaments, my favorite is a little yellow rubber reindeer who has lost his hanging device, the paint from his nose and one eye.  Despite all of these imperfections, this little guys still manages to find his way to my tree every year.  My sister and I used to move him around on the tree to see if the other person could find him.  My tree just wouldn’t be the same without this little guy.  This year his is straddling a branch with his nose very close to a red light to mimic a “red nose”. 


I decorated my tree yesterday, I thought about my Grammy, my parents, my sister, my nephew, my Aunt, Meesie and Fooie, Jeanne, Tracy, Alan Neville, Maureen Gill and many other special people.  Memories included my first Christmas with my husband,  our first Christmas as a married couple, Hooch opening Christmas presents, Sheba and Haley sitting in the Christmas tree, and spending last Christmas with my family while my husband was in Iraq.  Next year I’m sure that when I decorate my tree I will think back to this Christmas, this post and remember that I’m living in Belarus, learning Russian and missing my family and friends.


Enjoy this picture of Rudy!




  1. Nadine said,

    That’s the strangest looking Christmas decoration I’ve ever seen! It makes me laugh though.

    When I looked at your blogroll I remembered you as saying “yarn makes me smile” on your intro’ at Thirty Voices. That gave me a smile too. Hope you’re having a great day and good luck with the Russian.

  2. sjsmart said,


    He is kind of strange looking, but I couldn’t imagine my tree without him. The poor guy has been through a lot.

    Thanks! I need all the luck I can get when it comes to Russian.

    Glad I could give you a smile!
    Have a great day!

  3. Heather said,

    Dang, woman. I’m sitting in my classroom, taking a break by reading blogs, and I’m crying over that last paragraph! I’m glad rudolph is right where he belongs!

  4. sjsmart said,

    Just like a Hallmark commercial isn’t it?

  5. Mom said,

    Well I am catching up on your blog and baking a cheescake for today’s family Christmas party. I didn’t need the tears but it is always good to cry-clears your head and the sinuses!!! That reindeer has been around the world almost and he isn’t finished yet. I wonder what Zac will do with all his ornaments when it is his turn to decorate his tree one day. We do our tree next weekend. Did I give you the ornaments that open?

  6. sjsmart said,

    I’m a crying fool these days. Poor Max just looks at me. It is good for the soul and it get’s me through the next however many minutes.

    I can’t remember when we got that reindeer but he sure is pathetic. I love him though. I find him a great “post” each year.

    We don’t have the ornaments that open, but that’s ok, because we each don’t have one yet. Maybe if we come home for Christmas next year that would be a good “Scott gift”. I don’t think he has one does he?

    Zachary I’m sure will be able to decorate his tree one day and have lots of great memories just like I do!


  7. Ruth said,

    Jenn, if I didn’t already have such a solid family, I’d be begging your family to adopt me! Thanks for such a sweet post. Now I’m really looking forward to decorating my tree this year. It won’t have a Rudy, though.

  8. sjsmart said,

    My family is always looking for adoptees! They’d love to have you.

    It takes a while to find a Rudy, but everybody has one. You’ll find yours. I always love this time of year, it is such a time of reflection. Have fun with your tree!

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