A Memory Making Christmas Tradition
I wasn’t planning on putting my tree up this year. I’ve been thinking about moving for a while and with that stance came the rapid dissolution of anything that vaguely made this place homier. Moving meant saving those resources for the next place, which I would love more and want to feel more at home in.
It’s interesting, this logic, because I’ve carried it with me in every place I’ve lived in since I moved out of my parent’s house. College dorms were painfully temporary. My first off-campus apartment was painfully underfunded. I lived with a roommate post-grad, something I hadn’t originally planned on, and my first solo apartment came with lots of sacrifices in amenities in exchange for prime location within my price range. Lots of settling and waiting for the next big thing. No, I would not be decorating a tree this year, but I could picture that very tree in my next place, the first one I wouldn’t have to settle on.
An impromptu dinner party got me to change my mind and so there I was last week, scrambling to get this tree up in between checking the wings in the oven and pasta on the stove. Admittedly the tree was there for decoration. I figured hosting during the holidays necessitated some holiday cheer, but as I combed through the color coded ziplock bags filled with ornaments something else happened.
A few years back, before I even had a Christmas tree or a space of my own to put it in, my sister and I decided we’d start exchanging ornaments. It would be our own little tradition, started here, and passed down through generations to come. Those ornaments started off as an experiment and last week, when I put my tree up, turned into a walk down memory lane. College graduation. my first salaried job, learning how to drive a car, my first solo apartment, they were all there.
As I pulled different ornaments out of the bag, the joy of those memories came with them. And once the tree was up the air felt different. I began to realize that this idea of home and comfort that I’d been looking for in appliances and central air, really started with the life I breathed into my place. I realized that loving myself in this moment meant creating a space where my soul felt at home, even if my life doesn’t look the way I want it to yet. Even if it just meant putting up a darn Christmas tree.
Those ornaments reminded me that home is what you make of it.