Containers for One Deep Breath

christmas traditions
stashed away in boxes
trinkets of our love

Read more container poems here.

Each year, usually for our wedding anniversary, I can expect to receive a new crop of ornaments for the tree. We favor glass ornaments of all shapes and sizes; the quirkier and more unusual the better. Each is unwrapped from its tissue paper and carefully placed on the tree where it shines briefly before being packed away again in the attic. My husband takes the tree down and puts it away. Left to my own schedule it would still be standing at Easter; I find that job to be too depressing on any but the brightest of Spring days. I love the distinctive glow the tree lends to the house at this season and hate to see it go.

We live with the boxes spread around the living room for a week or so, and decorate the tree a little at a time, beginning with the largest or most treasured ornaments and finally placing the plain colored balls at the last to fill the empty spaces. I’m often surprised to find a particularly beautiful one that I don’t remember buying or being given.

11 thoughts on “Containers for One Deep Breath”

  1. Putting the tree away after Christmas depresses you, too? I’ve been known to wipe a few tears when it’s time to do the dirty deed. Silly, I know.

    I like your taste in ornaments, loaded with color and pizzazz.

  2. When to put the Christmas tree away is likely the source of contention between couples. In our house, I at one time wanted to keep the tree up until January 6–the traditional date for celebrating the Magi visiting the Christ Child. My husband wanted to take it down right after Christmas. Well, I have changed–not so much because I gave in but because by the day or so after Christmas I have had my fill of having to water the tree, of pine needles dropping, of cats entwining themselves in the lights and batting ornaments off the branches and all around the living room. So, no tears–down comes the tree and the calm of the house is restored!

  3. I love glass ornaments, too. It reminds me of the beautiful ornaments my parents used to have when I was very young. I would help unwrap them very carefully, the tissue paper smelling like the attic, and it would be like a present to see each one again. I too hate to take a tree down because I love the extra light in the dark winter months.

  4. Some of those look like the ones my family had when I was small. Leave them out as long as possible!

    Isn’t it strange-doing the tree is as much a tradition as having a tree? Your well written haiku shows your love of this holiday.

  5. I like your photo and haiku. We actually have a few of the same ornaments. We also favor the kind you do, glass and quirky! Each one is greeted like an old friend and there is much banter about where it will be placed on the tree this year…
    Thanks for the warm smile.

  6. Oh yes – my husband always wants the tree down before I do. I find it a little disconcerting when I’m unable to remember the source of various ornaments. The really precious, sentimental ones – those I handle with love as the memories drift among the pine boughs.

  7. Mary: I hate doing it! My husband has the patience to wrap everything up nice and be very neat about it; not me.

    kgmom: lol! January 6th is *Little King’s Day”, right? That sounds really early to me, but we put ours up late. I’m always so surprised to see a tree out to the curb the day after Christmas, but I understand with a real tree that keeping them long is a danger – part of what I like about a fake tree is not having to worry over it.

    Liza: Valentine’s Day seems reasonable to me!

    Naturewoman: Yes! It’s always a surprise to find *forgotten* ornaments. We have just a few that are very old – they are so delicate!

    Susan: My husband goes with what he knows I’ll like (usually). One year he gave me a tank full of frogs for our wedding anniversary – nutty!

  8. Sandy: My DH and I started collecting ornaments before we were married and have gazillions of them – none so nice as the really old ones I remember as a kid.

    n.b.: Hi! We only fuss about where to put certain ones, but I love the strange ones the best!

    Cathy: lol! I too wonder where some of them came from, but we have so many! It’s neat how some are so strongly linked with a particular time or place, and seeing them on the tree brings back those memories.

  9. We have a huge collection too. But, the past serveral they are languishing away in storage. We also sold our 8 foot tree.
    You have lovely ornaments. i like the antique ones too.

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