It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!
I suppose it's easy to succumb to Grinch-y ways during this Great Recession, and even if we all find ourselves pinching those dollars ever tighter, I must admit to loving even the tiniest shopping trip to find that one treasure here or there for whichever loved one.
I love walking the cobblestone streets and brick walks in the Old Port, admiring the beautiful sights in the shop windows, the carolers on the street corners, the garland the lights, I love it all. Sometimes we go just for the tradition of the hustle and bustle of Yule, and we purchase nothing, especially if we've already finished our making and buying.
Often we find a few bits of wonderfulness that we simply can't pass up. Almost always, we find our special ornaments for the year on this shopping trip.
See, the tradition in my family as I grew up was that each one of us--mom, dad, my sister and me, were to seek out a very special ornament that had some meaning for us, each Yule. As you can imagine, the ones I chose when I was very little--the silk ball with the cartoon mice, the wooden horse with the straw tail, the overly glitzy and gaudy ball--look very different from the ones I have chosen as an adult (and somehow always find their way to the back of the tree). I now have 38 special ornaments, and when Alex and I began dating in 1990, he also began this tradition. We have continued this tradition with Adam and Olivia as well. And yes, they have the glitter reindeer, the plastic snowmen, the too-realistic mermaid doll--ornaments, too. But that's part of the tradition, and when they someday leave home, they'll have a box of ornaments for their Yule trees, as well as the stories and memories that accompanied their childhoods. So, our Yuletide shopping trip is often when we find that very special ornament. This year Adam marked his trip to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument with a painted Russian egg featuring the monument, that he got while in Boston.
Olivia found the dearest gold rose that clips to the tree and I found a sweet and lacy silver pinecone at the fabulous LACAVA. And Alex decided on a beautiful blown-glass green sphere from this evening's trip to the Old Port.
So even though Yule would come without those packages or ribbons or tags, and yes, even ornaments, we would be glad, just the same. Oh, but it's such a cheerful thing, to dig deeper into those pockets (to find good humor or dollars, either) to spread the special all around, to share it with others and to simply be merry.
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