The tree stands in the living room, glowing with white and colored lights. Four ornament boxes brought up from the basement, one for each child still living at home, wait to be unpacked by their owners.
Each person puts their ornaments on as the spirit leads. There is no rhyme or reason and certainly no ceremony surrounding the process. In a few days I will carry the empty boxes back to the basement.
Checking in with my youngest, I ask about her decorating status.
Have you hung your ornaments on the tree, yet?
Yes! All except the stuffed animal ones. I am not hanging those up this year.
She has quite an assortment of Beanie Baby mini ornaments and other holiday stuffed animals that she hangs on the tree each year. I am surprised by this news.
What? But you always hang your stuffed ornaments on the tree! You play with them in the Christmas tree.
And just like that, Friends, is the end of yet another era. There is no more playing in the Christmas tree.
But the Hello Kitty ornaments made the cut and still hang in their row.
Time marches on, Mamas! One day those ornaments will stay put and the tree will no longer be a working document. It will remain static for the season. That day came for me today.