Merriam-Webster says “remember” means to retain in the memory, or to have a recollection of something. As we enter the holiday season, nearly every day is filled with remembrances around my house – and probably yours, too.
In my house, it’s a Christmas tree filled with ornaments my children have created, or those we’ve picked up on travels, or those I convinced my parents to relinquish. My husband lugs tub after tub of decorations down from the attic, and I have hundreds of ornaments – enough to fill multiple trees. In a previous house, I had multiple trees, but now have to choose only enough to stuff a single tree, and the very act of festooning my tree requires the active competition of memories.
Maybe it’s the brass ornament from my elementary school days, when my name was still spelled with a “y,” versus a photo of my daughter packed into winter gear for her first holiday parade [easy, she wins]. Or it might be agonizing over whether to include a set of matching eggs that I received from my grandmother versus a blown-glass Darth Vader [I figured out a way to add a second, half-pint-sized tree to make sure both happened]. Or it might be finding that yet another house move proved too much for the ceramic ornament my son hand-painted in kindergarten, found in shards at the bottom of a box [tears ensued – mine].
So many of the memories I cherish come flooding back at the holidays, as I’m sure happens for many of us. Collecting ornaments to mark each one is one of my favorite things to do, and I suppose it explains the volume I have. These remembrances stay with me in the richness of recollection, but I love rediscovering them every year in physical form, too.