Monday, July 18, 2011

Decorated with Love

Christmas Eve, late at night, my husband Paul and I pour a glass of wine, sit on the floor by our fragrant pine, the room lit only by the tree's soft lights.

Our Christmas tree is decked with love and memories, and on this particular night, we reminisce. There's a tiny red-and-white striped stocking, yellowed over the years, that I bought the year my first son was born. (Paul wasn't a part of my life then; we married when my youngest son was in high school, but they are like his own and he's a beloved stepfather and step grandfather.) A "God's Eye" made of Popsicle sticks woven with yarn nestles in the branches, a gift made by our first grandson, his initials on the back, written in crayon. Picture-frame ornaments with photos of other grandchildren, when they were small, evoke tender memories. A smiling ice cream cone, a gift from my daughter and her husband, marks the sale of my first published children's book, Ice Cream for Breakfast. A china bell with shamrocks, brought from Ireland, and a gold cross from Rome, are mementos from my youngest son and his wife's travels.

Paul's and my trips are noted too, and there are decorations given to us by his brother and sister, and mine, and my favorite cousin. Beaded candy canes and wreaths were made by an aunt that's deceased. And the lights that bubble around the bottom of our Christmas tree were purchased only a few years ago, but reminders of Paul's childhood, they still intrigue little ones. The quilted tree skirt, hidden by piles of gifts before our family opening, bears a large green S on a background of red and white—a treasured gift made by our daughter-in-law. Our middle son and his wife gave us appropriate ornaments for our interests, a golf club for my husband and a book for me.

Paul and I moved to Florida five years ago. We sold our house and furniture, but among the things we brought along was a large, red plastic box filled with our Christmas tree ornaments, rich with memories.

Betty Jo writes for children, teens, and adults. A former elementary teacher, she is an online instructor for Writers Digest University classes. Her latest books are Mystic Mansion, How Not to Date a Hollywood Star, No Rain No Rainbows (all YA), and Impossible Dreams, a romantic comedy.

Just, don’t miss Gracie’s Holiday Hero, a contemporary love story with all the elements that warm your heart. A reunion romance with a rags to (almost) riches heroine from an impoverished background, a handsome disillusioned hero with a motherless daughter, Kirsten, who’s wise beyond her years, a lovable dog named Dumbbell…and a Christmas ghost named Mirabelle.

Visit Betty Jo’s website at .


Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing Betty Jo. I love the tree of memories. I'll spend many late nights with only the tree lights on and smiling at each and every ornament, remembering.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Lovely, Betty. Thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful memories.

I like to have the tree lights on and nothing else - makes it so magical.

Savanna Kougar said...

Betty, what beautiful and poignant memories. I loved that you shared them with us. To me, what you talked about is part of the beauty and magic of life.