I love Christmas! I love the decorations, the lights, the packages, and even the craziness often associated with the time of year. This year, I went a little overboard decorating my house. I collected a variety of unique items that I places in various places throughout my house for my own enjoyment. But, with all the decorations I have, this is my favorite one:
It's a simple picture of me with my brother and grandpa out on his farm looking for a Christmas tree. I don't remember the event, but the picture reminds me of many Christmases that would take place after this picture was taken.
My grandpa was a very sweet and quiet man. He didn't say much, but let my brother and I know how much he cared about us with ice cream cones on Sundays, tractor rides on the farm and Whitman Samplers at Christmas.
One year around Christmas, Grandpa came to my house with a real tree in the trunk of his car just for me. It wasn't exactly the well trimmed tree that one would find at a tree farm, but it was the best tree ever in my eyes. He helped me set it up right in the front of the living room window. My grandma then took me out to buy lights and cheap icicle strands. I was a very happy girl.
My mother, who arrived home later, was not exactly thrilled with the large decorated bush in her living room. (After all, we had a perfectly fine artificial tree in the family room carefully decorated with blue lights, red bows and white ornaments.) But, there was little doubt in my mind that the tree was there to stay. After all, how could she tell her father no.
For the next few years, the tradition continued. He would arrive with my own personal Christmas tree. My mother admitted defeat and even helped us place the tree in it's place of honor. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. After all, how many girls get their own personal Christmas trees.
Being my grandpa's granddaughter, I'm not sure I ever really let him know how much those trees really meant to me, but I'm convinced he knew. We still never talked much, but those trees seemed change our relationship. Special little gifts, cards, and even handwritten letters would appear randomly through the years.
So, every year, when I pull out the simple picture in its green wooden frame, I am greeted by a flood of memories of the most important man in my life. A man who said few words, but spoke volumes. I am so lucky to have had him for my grandfather.