That afternoon, as I walked home through high snow banks on the tree curb (what little boy is going to walk home on the actual sidewalk during a snow storm?), somehow--I dropped my Christmas ornament out of the waxed paper. When I got home and all I had was the waxed paper and I could not show my mother my gift.
My mother had the solution, though. She got bundled up and we retraced my footprints back through the neighborhood until we discovered the Christmas ornament laying in a snow bank, waiting to be recovered, taken home and presented to the family as a Christmas gift.
This ornament, known in the family as THE GHOST, has hung in our Christmas trees for 47 years--first in the family tree, then my parent's, than Denice and mine.
While my family was big on Christmas, I am not sure when my Christmas obsessions started. Denice and I always put up our tree (fake!) the day or two after Thanksgiving (my wish) and it stays up well into January (her wish).
Over the years, our eclectic tastes have added ornaments that represent things to us, especially family vacations but also community theater plays we were in and long gone family pets. Our tree has many personalities including some rather famous ones.
On our many trips, we find ourselves thanking the Spirit Ravens who guide our journeys. I thought it would be fun to put a Spirit Raven in our tree but Denice refers to it as The Dead Bird.
Disclaimer: I have no idea what started my Santa collection. At some point, I know that a lot of other people got involved so the collection consists of Santas I have purchased and Santas I have received as gifts. Over the 32 years of marriage, I know Denice has given me multiple Santas for Christmas. We now have a no Santa rule which only gets broken when we find a really unique one.
We have so many Santa ornamnets that we have to have a second tree just for all the Santas.
We even get to mix religions with this Ganesha Santa ornament.
People always ask me which Santa is my favorite. It is the little two inch tall Hallmark ornament of one of my heroes. So, I will let him say Merry Christmas to all who still say, "I Believe."