Every family has Christmas traditions that become an integral part of their holiday celebrations. Welcome, Everyone, I am so excited that you are here today. Christmas is only a couple of weeks away. Decorations are going up, friends are meeting to share some holiday cheer, and families are gathering to participate in their time honored traditions.
The ornament above is one of ours. Every year when the children were growing up we would read Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and watch one of the many movie versions that have been made. One of my family’s favorites is “The Muppet Christmas Carol”. This wonderful story by Dickens begins in the streets of London as Scrooge is approached by some businessmen looking for a charitable donation. Scrooge makes it clear that he has no interest in a contribution to help the poor. The ornament above shows Scrooge, the Businessman.
That night, Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited first by the ghost of his former partner, Marley. Marley warns him that he needs to change his ways before he ends up in chains for eternity like Marley. Here Marley is wrapped in the chains he forged during life and must carry now in death.
Scrooge is visited by three ghosts of Christmas. The first is “The Ghost of Christmas Present” who shows Scrooge the life of his clerk, Bob Cratchit, and his family. Cratchit’s youngest child, Tiny Tim, is ill but the family enjoys preparing for Christmas with love and good cheer. Scrooge sees how the Christmas spirit is not dependent on money but on love.
Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit and Tiny Tim are found on our tree. Mrs. Cratchit carries the Christmas pudding.
Next is the ghost of Christmas Past who takes Scrooge to his own past visiting his former employer, a jolly and wonderful man, and the fiancé Scrooge left in order to pursue his dream of wealth. Scrooge is beginning to realize how much he has missed.
The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge his own death…no one mourns him or cares that he is gone. The Ghost shows Scrooge the death of Tiny Tim and how terribly sad everyone is to lose Tiny Tim. Scrooge learns that this is what the future holds, if he does not change his ways.
Christmas morning dawns and Scrooge is a changed man. He carries Christmas in his heart and begins his new life by throwing open his window and calling out to a boy below. Scrooge has the boy buy the big goose in the Butcher’s window and has it delivered to the Cratchit’s home. He lets love into his heart and his life, connects with his nephew and becomes a benefactor to the Cratchit family.
Our final moment with “A Christmas Carol” is receiving a blessing from Tiny Tim who will live a long and happy life. Each year we added to our ornaments and now they are the first ones which are placed on our Christmas Tree. The ornaments are vintage and made by Kurt Adler.
Other ornaments tell the story of the Christmas song we sing every year and one of the fist ones our kids learned…”The Twelve Days of Christmas”. We put several complete sets on the tree each year made by Waterford and Lenox.
Of course, we always read, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” every year and it is another story complete on our tree.
Our personal stories are represented on our tree and tell about where we have lived and visited and important things in our lives like music and writing.
A trip to England where we discovered Cecily Barker’s lovely books and illustrations about fairies has another place on our tree.
This Story Christmas Tree is really the story of our Family and we tell it every year. Some things are, of course, too personal to share in a Blog Post but are visited each year as memories of past Christmases are placed on the tree. New memories of the year that is ending are added to the tree and become part of our Christmas celebrations. The Story Christmas Tree is a treasured part of our Christmas traditions and, I hope, will be carried on for many years to come.