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  • Writer's picturecatherine stemper

Time Travel

At one time or another, I believe everyone has wished to travel in time. While decorating and dismantling my Christmas tree this year, I traveled in time. We had our largest tree ever. It was a lovely symmetrical, straight, fifteen foot tall Noble Fir with broad open horizontal branches. A perfect tree, in my opinion.

I usually do not decorate until very late in the season, for several reasons. First, my birthday is in early December and my mother liked to keep it separate from Christmas by holding off all decor until after my birthday, what an act of love. Secondly, I am usually crazy busy with my business during this time, decor has lower priority.

2020 was a little different, I had more time, and more desire to decorate. I did wait until after my birthday, but not long. We got the tree and had it standing bare for several days. It smelled so good and was so pretty. We shined one of those new holiday spot lights up through it. The light was a multi colored abstract moving pattern. It made the tree look like it had lights, but the best part was the shadows on our ceiling. The shadows were of the branches, but enormous. It felt like we were under a huge tree, like Clara in the Nutcracker, when the tree grows and grows.

When I did finally start to decorate the tree, I used all of our ornaments. We have many many ornaments. I often use a limited selection, like the hand made, or the angels. I had enough room for all of them this time.

Most of our ornaments have a story, history, memory. This was when I traveled through time. Imagining my dad as a boy making and placing an ornament. I remembered Mom wrestling with a sewing machine and losing her cool when the ornaments all turned out upside down. Seeing new ornaments dancing near old and creating little stories of their own, I traveled forward in time wondering where these would be in 50 years, if anywhere.

The funny little bits of glass and plastic, wood and glitter, each one had meaning and symbol. I realized why they were so important, why we cherish them, why we pass them on. Ornament has meaning and purpose beyond looking pretty.

Ornament is often underrated. Looking pretty has lots of power. No news there, but what else does ornament provide? Like Christmas ornaments do to me, ornament in general can tell a story, or history. Jewelry tells a story. Wedding rings tell an obvious story. What story do your earrings whisper in your ear?

Do you wear your earrings anymore? 2020 has done a real number on earring wearing Masks and earrings do not work well together. However, earrings look great on screen. So do necklaces. Yet some people feel they do not have to dress up to be on screen. Okay, I am all for comfiness. Yet, when I put on my jewelry, even at home, I swear I feel better. I love the feeling of my earrings, I love playing with my necklaces. So, embrace ornamentation. Make your life beautiful, even if you are the only one who sees it, dare I say especially if you are the only one to see it! Take a trip through time, escape today by wearing a special family piece that makes you feel loved, one from you youth that gave and still gives you power, embrace the power of ornament.

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