Happy ghosts of Christmas past

We have some fine new additions to the Christmas tree this year.   They are all ornaments that belonged to my grandparents, and which I chose as my own during the Great Summertime Sort of 2009. (Yes, they really should have been on my tree last Christmas,  but the box got lost in the one-car black hole known as our garage, and did not re-emerge until too late.   That really should serve as a kick in the pants for me to do some heavy cleaning.)

Anyhow, the newcomers include this lovely pair of exotic birds, which clip on the ends of the branches:

They also include this Santa and Mrs. Claus, a right jolly old pair:

Grandma also had this adorable felt ornament, of a little child at a Mary shrine.   I have often thought that my grandmother (who is mentioned in a few places in Mary and Me) would have been delighted beyond measure that I ended up writing a book about the Blessed Mother.   That makes this ornament doubly special to me.

We also have this pair of hearts, which I see as a perfect symbol for my grandparents.

They were so well-matched, and such a loving and affectionate couple, always holding hands when they walked down the street.   In a very sad twist of fate, Grandma died of cancer a mere two weeks before their fiftieth wedding anniversary.  (“We didn’t quite make it to fifty,” I remember my grandpa saying, devastated.  “That’s okay, Dad,” my father told him.  “It’s okay to round up.”)  They had fifty years of marriage, two kids, four grandkids, and … let me count… nine great-grandkids.  Plus they gave us a whole lot of very good memories, of Christmastime and Thanksgiving and Easter and Fourth of July and all the other times in between.  That’s a pretty great fifty years, I’d say.

And when we trimmed the tree, I had Scott help me hang the two hearts, way up near the top.  It seems very fitting to have Grandma and Grandpa’s hearts here in our living room, a reminder of what it means to love, honor, and remember.

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