Stressful or Fun?

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I love Christmas. I love the songs, the family time, the memories made and I really love decorating. Christmas decorations bring a warmth and friendliness during a cold and dark season. My husband can attest that I am normally quick to purge things that we no longer need, and I rarely keep things for sentimental value, except when it comes to anything Christmas.

Every year pulling out our Christmas decorations, makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I almost forget year to year what decorations we own or acquired the previous year. While some ornaments are generic decorative ornaments, so many ornaments bring back a flood of memories. We have ornaments to mark almost every significant event during the 10 years we have been married and now events with our children. In addition, the only souvenirs we purchase on trips are ornaments ,so there are many ornaments to remind us of happy memories we have shared.

In addition to ornaments we have acquired over our marriage, I have family ornaments that have been passed down from great-grandmothers. One of my great-grandmothers made snowflakes out of tatting, which is a unique specialized form of knitting. Each year I hang her snowflakes and remember the stories she used to tell me about her life on the family farm. Another grandmother made lovely little crochet skates. Considering the blade of the skate is made from a paper clip, the ornaments would not likely be sold in stores, but they are priceless to me.

My most prized Christmas decorations are two porcelain Santa’s representing the different states we grew up in that my Mimi made for the first Christmas my husband and I were married. Not only are they beautiful and classic, but they were the last handmade painted item she made. She died unexpectantly before the next Christmas. Almost nine years later, I am reminded of the void our family feels with her loss, but we are thankful for the many years we had with her.

This season as I decorated our tree and home I was flooded with the memories of the previous years. I loved watching the excitement in my little one’s eyes and creating memories with them as we shared the stories behind all the ornaments. They are already beginning to form their own attachment and sentiment with Christmas and the entire season. Although the season is unfortunately intertwined with commercialism, I can clearly see that my kids are building sentimental memories as well. While some may just see it all as decoration, I see it as a unique time to pause the routine of life and crate new and remember old memories.


Writer Bio: Summer Bolte


I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fullfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.  

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