PEN&INKee^POSSIBILITIES: The significance of the Christmas tree

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By Kirsten Laskey

Decorating the Christmas tree has always been a major deal in my family. It’s one of the seasonal traditions that kicks off our Christmas celebration.

When I was growing up, as soon as the tree was set up and elaborately adorned with decorations, I felt it gave me permission to immerse completely in all the holiday hoopla.

I could sing carols, read holiday books or eagerly count down the days until Dec. 25 without any uncertainty that I was celebrating the holiday too early.

We made the whole process fun – from untangling and weaving lights between evergreen boughs to hanging bulbs from the branches’ tips. For years we played holiday tunes on the CD player and my mother served up a plate of cookies.

My father and sister were in charge of the lighting – the first thing on the decorating to-do list.

They wrestled with white and colored twinkle lights while my mother would squint and identify the areas that were bare of any lit sparkle.

With the tough electrical project out of the way, we moved on to the fun part, the decorating.

My father always hangs the angel, a memento from the early days of my parents’ marriage. She is decades old, but still maintains a sweet face and her gold gown has not faded through the years.

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