This beautiful photo of Jesse, Evelyn and their captivating Christmas tree transports me back to December 1980. Jesse was one month old and we were celebrating our first holiday season as a family. We were two excited parents eager to start creating some traditions of our own – traditions that honored our dual heritage and felt kid friendly.
The first thing we did was go out and search for a menorah that would be the centerpiece of our family Hanukkah celebrations. We found a beautiful handmade menorah at Kolbo in Brookline, MA. I just polished it for this Friday night’s Hanukkah fiesta. It will bring joy to our 10 year old and her little sister just like it delighted Jesse and Jenna as they were growing up. We have photos of all the kids with our Kolbo menorah and the collection of smaller menorahs that we’ve accumulated to add more light to the eight night Hanukkah experience. In each one the kids look relaxed and radiant.
Christmas also makes us happy. Our Christmas traditions have evolved over the past twenty nine years too but they always seem to include opening presents in front of the fireplace, making fresh squeezed orange juice, listening to great music, and eating a tasty brunch. When I owned my toy stores, I always spent Christmas Day in my robe and slippers. When guests arrived for dinner they were greeted by a woman in her pajamas with a huge smile on her face.
This year our tree will go up after Hanukkah. We will bring out the ornament boxes and sift through our collection of hand picked options. We’ll choose which ones we’ll hang up while the Roche sisters sing Christmas carols and freshly baked cookies are placed in tins to deliver to our friends and neighbors. Someone just gave us a recipe for cookies that horses with Cushings disease can eat. I think we’ll test that recipe for Chloe and Corey over at the barn.
While we are baking and decorating and humming along to the Roche sisters, I am going to look at this photo of Jesse, Evelyn and their fabulous little tree and smile. Knowing that a piece of our family legacy is with them on the west coast makes me happy. I’ll fondly remember the first five years of our family holidays. That time in our lives when we put up the Christmas tree on the first of December. When Jesse, fresh from his nightly bath, would choose a colorful tissue wrapped package from the Ornament Basket, unwrap it, and get that twinkle in his eyes when he discovered what treat was inside. That is still one of my all time favorite bedtime rituals.
We had fun with the Ornament Basket for the 24 days before Christmas until our collection was large enough to fill a 6 foot Christmas tree… You can see some of Jesse’s favorites in the photo – the sheep, those little stockings, the stuffed dino up by the star… I remember him unwrapping them, placing them on a branch, reading stories by the light of the Christmas tree, and then heading upstairs to his truck bed (that’s now stored in the garage).
I’m looking forward to celebrating the holidays with my family this month.
Whether folks are at our house or in their own homes, I am delighted that
our fun family traditions are being sprinkled from coast to coast.
Thanks for sharing the photo Jess.
All my love to you and Evelyn.
Enjoy that tree.