For several years after my parents separated my mom didn't have a Christmas tree at the holidays. She said she had no room, she had no need.. she could come over and enjoy ours.. etc. etc. etc. What it came down to, was it was too hard. Christmas was a big deal in our family. Mom was the host of the big family shin-dig, and went all out. The house was decorated to the hilt, the food was delicious and she was the star of the show.
It made me sad that mom didn't feel like she could have Christmas back in her life. No decorations for her apartments either. Even my kids noticed. Then one year, out of the blue she announced that she bought a tree. And decorations for the place. And lights and ornaments and the "cutest darn angel ever." I was so proud of her. She took Christmas back. If you click on the photo you can see angels I made for her brand new "just me tree".
Now the tree is mine. I originally thought I might put it in my bedroom. But for the past 3 years it has lived out on my porch. I love it on the porch, it brightens the corner and makes coming home a bit nicer. I was worried this year that the new paint job was going to clash with the tree. In fact, the tree was on the porch over a week before I decorated it. Mostly in fact that the ornaments are all glass, and the roof was being banged on. Yesterday I had The Boy bring down my box of ornaments and had at it. In honor of mom and her "just me tree".. I only use the decorations she bought. Amazingly, they go perfect with my new porch colors. Almost as if they were bought specifically with those colors in mind.
Each day, when I go out and turn on the lights, I think of mom. I think about how much she sacrificed for our family, and how hurt she was when our family broke apart. I see this tree as a testament to her strength. Merry Christmas mom.