Studly Doright and I were married in July of 1976. I was just shy of twenty, while he was only 18. Broke, stupid, and in love, we had no idea then of the hurdles we’d have to jump over on our way to 43 years of marriage and beyond.
As our first Christmas as a married couple approached we had to set some new guidelines. I was set on keeping up my family’s Christmas traditions while he was equally set on keeping his. We managed to compromise fairly well, but there was one thing I insisted on–a live tree at least six feet tall. Studly’s family had a smaller tree that stood on a short table, as I recall.
I got my way that year, and we soon had our beautiful tall tree standing in its brand new red and green tree strand awaiting decorations. There was just one problem–we had no ornaments. None. And that tree had eaten up most of our disposable income.
My mom came to the rescue. She gave us three kits of felt ornaments that I could stitch together and decorate. One set featured characters from the Wizard of Oz.
Another set included typical Christmas characters–an angel, a snowman, and a Santa.
The last set featured Christmas trees and wreaths. I’ve managed to lose the wreaths, but my Christmas trees have hung in there (pun intended) all these years.
Several days ago I was scavenging for book five in the Harry Potter series at our local Goodwill book store when I came across a little felt tree hanging from the store’s tree. It was exactly like the one I’d made all those years ago
I wondered if some young woman had lovingly stitched the pieces together, adding shiny sequins where indicated by the kit’s directions. Had she been as nervous about her future as I was about mine?
And I wondered why this poor felt tree came to be all by itself at the Goodwill store. Of course I bought it and brought it home. I introduced the ornament to its counterparts on my tree, and then I let our elf on the shelf comfort it.
Welcome home, little tree.