This golden bird on my Christmas tree is the last remaining glass ornament I bought in Germany. There were a dozen of them originally, though a few were broken that very first year when our kitten pounced and toppled the tree. Others either never survived their shipment back to the States the following year, or our subsequent nomadic life.
The bird is not the oldest ornament on my tree. That honor goes to a faded blue glass globe topped with snow that once glittered. This ornament was my childhood favorite, and each year nestles in a secret spot at the back my tree.
I decorate my tree “old style” with as many glass ornaments as I can fit, alongside ones made lovingly by my children and grandchildren. It takes hours to create my sugarplum fantasy, working outward from trunk to tip and downward from top to bottom. It’s a labor of love. It’s tradition.
Tradition grounds us, centers us, comforts us. It represents our memory of the past, our enjoyment of the present, and our anticipation of the future. I wish for you to have abundant tradition throughout your life.