What a difference a year makes! Last year around this time, Ayva and I were just moving out of a 4 room apartment (not 4 bedroom. 4 rooms. Front room, back room, kitchen and bathroom) into our current home, a 3 bedroom, 2 story townhouse (known as a rowhome in Philly). Moving in a few days before Christmas was a tremendous blessing, and pretty much all the gift that we needed. While I did decorate a little bit around our unpacked boxes, the focus last Christmas was less about a tree and decorations, and more about making sure our beds were put together and other moving in tasks like that.
This year, for the first time in my adult life, I was able to really begin to create Christmas traditions for my little family. I had only had a small tabletop tree before, but this Christmas, I was able to gift that tiny tree to a friend and purchased a 7′ tree. We were starting from scratch with decorations, so I went to Kmart and purchased a ton of adorable ornaments, garland and lights from the Homespun Holiday collection to decorate our tree.
The night I put the tree up, I sent Ayva upstairs to play while I put the tree up. After I had the lights strung, I turned them on and called Ayva downstairs to start to hang the ornaments. When Ayva came to the top of the stairs on her way down, she froze before coming down and gasped. “Look at our tree! It looks like a princess!”, she said. With Christmas music playing, she and I hung our adorable cupcake and candy ornaments, and our candy canes. As we finished and stood back to admire our work, tears came to my eyes.
I know for a lot of people, the holiday season can be a really tough time. I know because money is extra tight for me, and sometimes I have to talk myself out of feeling bad because I can’t afford to take advantage of every fun opportunity or every amazing sale that are so plentiful during this time of the year. Fortunately, though, I am able to take care of Ayva and my needs, and that, too me is a blessing. It’s totally icing on the cake, though, when I can do something extra special, like trim a gorgeous tree and enjoy it in my home with my most favorite person in the world.
And that’s what made me cry. My grandmothers, the stylish women who made Christmas Christmas to my family, are no longer here, but they left me with a lot. I can still remember how festive Christmas felt with them around. I remember how our entire family would come together to eat and laugh all night long. I remember their houses all decorated, every inch, with holly and berries and reindeer and Santa. I remember how loved I felt.
I hope that when Ayva gets to be as old as I am, that she can remember this Christmas, trimming her very first tree with her very best friend with memories as fond as the ones that I have of my Christmases past.
*Disclosure – This shop has been compensated as part of a social shoppers insight study by Collective Bias (#Cbias). All opinions are my own.