One of my favorite things about Christmas as I reach my upper 50s is getting out the ornaments.
And that’s not the actual climbing into the attic. I fell out of one of those one time.
It’s taking them from the boxes, putting them on our two trees and reliving the memories.
Pam has done a wonderful job over the years of collecting Christmas ornaments from different stages of our lives together – like raising our children and taking vacations. We’ve actually accumulated so many ornaments that we decide every Christmas which ones we want to put up that year. We don’t have room on the trees for all of them.
But whether on the tree or in the box, I get the chance to see them and smile.
Thursday night I stayed up late watching TV. Before I went to bed, I just decided to go into the living room and look at each individual ornament on the trees.
There was the one dated 2003, when Erin was about to turn 2. It features The Wiggles, a children’s music group and her favorite as a baby.
Then there was another from 2015, just two years ago, in the shape of a basketball. Erin was an eighth grader on the junior high basketball team at Marshall Academy.
She will turn 16 on January 1, 2018. Where does the time go?
There are many ornaments featuring our favorite sports teams – like the Dallas Cowboys, the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
A few ornaments highlight my alma mater, the University of North Alabama. My favorite is a small Lion with UNA on the front.
Anther favorite ornament from 2003 is one which features the entire family. The Burlesons’ ornament includes small head figures in Santa caps. There’s one for myself, Pam, Emma, Andy and Erin.
We have an ornament from each trip we’ve made to Disney World, along with other vacation stops.
The first of those came on the weekend of November 25, 1989, from New Orleans, La., when Pam and I were on our honeymoon. It’s perhaps the simplest of all the ornaments – a red heart with the words “New Orleans Honeymoon” written on it.
It probably cost a couple of dollars, which is about all we could afford back then. But it is one that has been on our tree ever since – 28 years – and needless to say, it is one of the most cherished.
This year, Pam made one of our trees a “beach tree.” It includes Christmas ornament collections from our many trips to the beach with our children in the past 26 years, starting with Emma – then Emma and Andy – then Emma, Andy and Erin.
Those include my favorites – a sea-turtle ornament and even a large starfish ornament.
There are plenty more things around the house at Christmastime that bring back beautiful memories – like our children’s traditional stockings on the fireplace.
Here’s hoping you cherish your Christmas memories, and that you make many more next week.
From the Burlesons to your family, Merry Christmas.