The decorations are up and the tree is done. Time to settle back and enjoy the season. As I decorate every year, I take the time to let my memories go back to Christmas's past. My oldest Christmas decoration is a little white plastic wicker basket of poinsettias. I was 5 years old and Mamaw Eden took me to town on the "town bus". She took me to McCroy's to have a hot chocolate and donut while we waited for the stores to open. When we got done eating, we were walking by the end of the aisle and there were these little baskets of poinsettias for 10 cents. Now Mamaw loved poinsettias. I remember every Christmas that her plastic bouquet of poinsettias was the first thing she would set out to begin the Christmas holidays. Mom had a bunch of them, too. It was always a family joke who would get their poinsettias out first after Thanksgiving. Some year Mamaw did and some years Mom did.
Loving poinsettias the way she did and knowing they are my birth month flower, she bought me my own little basket of poinsettias. She said I could start my own tradition that they be the first thing I put out at Christmas.
Well, every year when Mom got the decorations down, I would get my basket and set it out. Here I am 48 years later and it is still the first thing I get out. Mamaw has been gone for 21 years and I still compete with Mom on who got their poinsettias out first. Every time I place that little basket in a place of honor, I think of Mamaw and all the wonderful memories that little plastic basket evokes. I still miss her so much. I know every time I set them out she is looking down and smiling on me.
I've started a tradition with my grandkids of buying them an ornament to hang on my tree each year. When they get married they will recieve their ornaments for their first tree. I can only hope that I touch their lives in such a way that they, too, will have fond memories of me when they hang thier ornaments each year.