Monday, November 26, 2012

O' Christmas Tree!

What's so big...

you can't see around it.
..can't see over it.
..can't see under it.
And can't see through it?

...Our Christmas tree!

so big I can't get it fully in a picture!

What's new for us is that it's a real tree.  Our first ever.  Last year's pre-lit pine didn't make the cut as we packed away the decorations at the first of the year.  The problem was, I forgot until we were at the point of putting it up this weekend.  The kids and I searched the shed three times over, before Tim arrived home and reminded us.

So, much like our family is accustomed to, we moved to plan B.  A quick trip to our local fruit market for a magnificent 8 foot fir.

It's tradition that we decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend.  Of course, that weekend is also one of the most difficult for us, as it was our last holiday with Austin. The next few days begin our hardest season, as we try to move our memories away from the tragic to the precious. To hold onto the sweet moments we remember, instead of the pain that comes with this time of year.

One of the sweetest gifts Austin gave us on that last perfect day with him, was that he insisted we finish decorating.  We'd spent all Saturday working primarily on the outside of the house, taking advantage of the unusual warm November weather.  At day's end, when I wanted to call it quits, and save the trees for tomorrow, he insisted otherwise.  Reminding me of our tradition, we set to completing it all.  That night was magical, as we snuggled together under the glow of Christmas lights watching a holiday movie.  Our last memories as a family...

Several days into our tragedy Tim and I realized what a gift it really was. Those trees would've never been put up, in the chaos of our loss, and our tradition would have forever been changed.  None of us would now have those precious memories - like how easily Austin placed the angel on top because of his height, what ornaments were his favorite (because he'd told us that day), or the laughter he and Noah shared in decorating the kids tree.  Every moment now locked in our hearts to recall each season.

That gift also ensured Christmas continued in the Blair house.  Our first one completely without Austin was painful, but remembering pushed us to continue with decorating.  We imagined Austin smiling down from Heaven, and Noah wondered if our lights were bright enough for him to see.  It kept us going...moving forward.

Here we are four years later, once again a family of four, with the addition of Tina, but forever holding Austin in our hearts and memories.  We're stronger, thanks to many prayers and ultimately peace from God.  We are hopeful.  We are thankful.

Wishing you new memories, old traditions, and many blessings this holiday season!


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