Some would say this post is a little belated. But not the Ukrainians (or many other Slavic and non-Slavic orthodox believers). Now I’m not personally orthodox, but it’s still fun to celebrate a little bit of the old traditions. While everyone has already taken their trees and decorations down and is thinking about Valentine’s day, my family is sending each other Christmas wishes today.
Although this year the trees are indeed already down, it is only because we put them up soo early. Day after Thanksgiving to be exact. As a little token of this day, I thought I would revisit Christmas trees past and present 🙂
This Christmas tree above was cut down near our house and isn’t the standard type of Christmas tree. It isn’t quite as sad as the Charlie Brown tree but it does certainly remind me of it. It’s particularly special because at this time I was living alone in a city where I knew no one and was working my first nursing job. It was only a few hours from home so I could visit often. I didn’t have a tree at my place because I worked the most INSANE job ever and why bother for just me. I did however, beg my mom to get a tree at her house and she was reluctant because of the mess they make especially with two dogs in the house. Luckily my grandpa had just moved in and he knew the importance of having a tree and cut this beauty down. I will always think of him when I look at this photo.
2013 saw me moving to another city where I knew no one and working a not quite as insane job, but nonetheless 100% night shifts. This time I was much further from home, but much closer to my fiance. I worked practically every holiday and only made it home after driving all day on Christmas to spend Christmas night with my family. It was a hard time for my parents with my grandpa being really ill and there was no tree at home. The only tree I spent a lot of time passing was the one above, in the lobby of my workplace.
And finally, this past Christmas’ tree! I actually got to help decorate this one and it was a pleasant surprise from my relatively new mother-in-law. All of the ornaments are from my husband’s side of the family and it was so awesome looking through them and just imagining all the memories of the past years. We had a fair share of issues getting the lights to function but once they did – wow! I have never seen a tree so colorful and bright. I spent a good amount of evenings sitting next to the tree and feeling like it might actually really be Christmas time.
Reflecting on Christmases past certainly brings back a lot of emotions I never expected to feel when I started writing this post. My grandpa wasn’t here this year, and it’s hard to think that it’s been almost a year since he passed. Just like my grandmother 10 years prior, we buried him in NY in the middle of a blizzard. He wasn’t able to make it to see our wedding, but at the same time I’m a bit relieved he wasn’t here to see everything that took place after. 2014 was a hard year for my family, and for me personally, but I am so grateful to be here now in 2015 and look forward to many more years of Christmas trees.