I love ornaments. Without the ornaments, a Christmas tree is…just a tree! Growing up, our family had a hodge podge of ornaments-some glass, some paper made by my sisters or my own hand from school, plaster, etc. It didn’t really matter-it was beautiful and it was magical.
One ornament stood out among them all. An antique Victorian ballerina. I don’t know what it was about the ornament that so entranced me but I looked forward to seeing her on that Christmas tree every year. My mom remembers her from when she was a little girl. When Mom married, Grandma passed it down to her.
Considering how much this ornament meant to Mom, I was surprised beyond words when for my first Christmas with my wife, I opened a box to find all the ornaments that I had grown up with as a child – including that ballerina. Tears running down my face, I carefully touched each ornament. It was possibly the best Christmas present that I’ve ever received.
We proudly hung these ornaments on our tree for the next several years until we moved back to Montana following my medical discharge from the Air Force due to disability. We moved into student housing so Kara could go to school. While there, someone went through the shared storage room and stole all our Christmas decorations including the priceless ornaments. Not only did the ballerina disappear but ornaments that my Grandmother crocheted. Ornaments for my kid’s first Christmases, their favorite Disney characters, etc. Invaluable, priceless heirlooms gone in the blink of an eye.
Our family is still trying to find ornaments for our tree after almost 5 years. Maybe I’m just looking for that magical ornament, the one that stands above the rest.