I was feeling some trepidation as I prepared to trim our Christmas tree this past week. It’s usually a project that I love to tackle with my two children, but I was on my own this year as my kids are grown and out living their lives. Would I feel sad? No, not when I opened up that box of ornaments and greeted some very old friends waiting patiently to share their stories again. Everything is alive with energy, connected to us and changing. It’s the primary tenet of Feng Shui and it’s very easily understood when you think about Christmas ornaments or any traditional holiday item that’s displayed. The ornaments that have survived the many years I’ve decorated a tree are uniquely connected to me and my family and imbued with meaning and polished with stories, in the year after year of remembering where they came from. Here are some of my favorites that hang on our tree every year:
Gingerbread man, vintage 1973: made by my Cousin Chris in kindergarten out of flour dough and sprinkled with pink and blue sparkles. Cousin Chris now has two daughters of his own.
Silver Spider in its Web, vintage 1978: a gift from my friend Peggy in honor of my (then) last name and (now) middle name.
Cross-stitched Santa and Reindeer with hinged jaws that open so you can hide candies inside, vintage 1993: given by my mother to my kids (who still expect to find candies inside).
A miniature Eiffel Tower, vintage 1995: given to me by my friend Nancy in honor of our love of all things French and a memorable birthday trip.
4 white, miniature wooden windows, vintage 2000: purchased by me as a reminder that each member of my family has their own window onto to the world at large.
There are many more: stars and hearts, four lighthouses to guide us, trains and reindeers, birds and fish all vie for spots. Not every ornament is on display each year; they have to take turns, as our tree isn’t that big. That’s part of the fun of trimming – the three of us discussing which ornaments “make the cut.” I made all the choices this year and when I was finished and stepped back to review my work I realized I could still bring my kids into the picture by taking one. I shared the tree with them via text message with photo, just as I’m sharing it with you via blog.
Feng Shui reminds us that we’re connected to our environment. The holidays remind us that we’re connected to each other.
Hoping you find new meaning when you display your traditional holiday items this year. Happy Holidays!