The Christmas Tree is perhaps the one universal symbol of the Christmas Season, and has been the centerpiece of our Christmas celebration for all our lives. If you read my recent blog about Christmas Memories (https://rnewadventures.com/2022/12/12/christmas-in-the-city/) you may remember me saying that in our family, the tradition was that your folks put up the tree and that Santa decorated it, and that was indeed the tradition till it wasn’t, but it spawned a new tradition, making the decorating of the Christmas Tree an event. I remember back in our Jackson Heights apartment sharing the task with my best friend David, and some friends we both went to high school with. When we moved to Bayside, the tradition was expanded to include even more folks. Some were people I went to college with and others were folks I worked with. It just became another occasion and a way to celebrate the joy of the holiday season, with family and friends who were like family.
In a comment about my last post, my college friend Andy Bellenkes said “I rejoice in the memories I cherish, celebrating a Christmas or two with the D’Elias, watching your Dad put up the lights along the roof line of your house, sitting with you, your Mom and Dad (and others whose identities at the moment I cannot recall) in the living room and feeling the familial warmth and friendship that in my memories so characterized your home.” Even after Susie and I got married, we continued this tradition at my folks house.
Here’s a picture from my folk’s house in Bayside, at what was Billy’s first Christmas Tree decorating at his Grandparent’s home. An evening populated with good friends I worked with at ABC.
That baby in my arms is just born William Ryan D’Elia, who now is the father of our
three Grandkids. The little girl in front of my Mom is Melinda McGuire Geraghty,
now the Mom of two adorable little people.
As our kids got older, we also continued the tradition at our Mineola house. Some years there were friends of the kids involved, sometimes it was just family, but it was always an event. The holiday toasting flutes would be brought out, the André would be poured, and somehow the tree would always get decorated! I must admit that I am married to a lady with a sort of Christmas Tree Ornament OCD, who would often times rearrange the ornaments after they’d been placed on the tree (especially when the kids were small, and couldn’t reach that high), but we never objected! It’s a tradition of ours that started in New Hyde Park, traveled with us to Mineola, and now resides on Pennlyn Place in Ocean City!
And then there were the ornaments themselves that had become a D’Elia Family Tradition! There were a few things that came from our folks, that Susie and I remember seeing on the trees we had growing up, giving us a kind of time continuum from our childhood. Then there are ornaments that have memories attached to them from our 44 married Christmases, either from places we bought them or from events in our life. Although our tree is beautiful to us, it’s not a designer tree, with carefully curated ornaments! It’s a road map of our family, and our 44 Christmases!
So there you have it…the story of one family’s Christmas Tree, and the central part it has played in our holiday celebration!
As Susie and I sit here in Ocean City on this Christmas Eve, and look at the 44th edition of Our Family’s Christmas Tree, we think back on all our wonderful Christmas memories from Christmases past, and we reflect on the blessings of Christmas that we’ve experienced. We hope that this Christmas finds you feeling blessed, and knowing that you are loved by those in your life! Merry Christmas……