Their big beautiful tree over the years always had a branch for the ornament I would bring back from Maui. Some of them had puka shells and others had sea glass. Some were in the shape of a palm tree and then there was the Santa holding a small, balsa wood surfboard. This tree was so highly decorated with Maui memorabilia mixed in with the religious angels and paper cut-outs made from the younger grandkids in the family. It was a tree filled with Christmas spirit. It’s was a tree brimming with love.
This year it’s a tree snuggled inside a warm home, cared for by a family facing Christmas for the first time without a very important presence.
The tree I visited today was small. There were a few paper cut-out ornaments hanging from the branches and a UVA ornament; a statement piece signifying where most of the family lives and works these days. I carefully hung the little reindeer with the green lei around his neck sprinkled with little tiny shells deep into the pine needles. This little tree is on its own these cold winter days. It casts a thin shadow across the headstone of my friend Jay. Cancer robbed him of Christmas with his family. He’s been gone 9 months.
The experts tell us around the Holidays it’s OK to cry. Crying is a natural outlet of grief. Lean on your Faith. Whatever works for you, do it. Holding on to your spirituality is a comfort. Say “No” if you’re not up to celebrating or seeing friends and family. No one ever said you have to attend every event. Eat, sleep and pamper yourself. Take care to keep up your strength and well-being.
AND HONOR traditions because they are meaningful.
And that’s where this little ornament plays a big role. It’s a tradition. It belongs on the little tree now.