Laura Haley-McNeil

12/17/17, Silver Bells

Hello, Everyone!

Christmas was always a special time when I was growing up. My mother’s birthday was Christmas Eve and because of that family and friends remembered her birthday. Though I come from a large family, my mother opened her home to everyone. The week before Christmas, Mom would spend time shopping and cooking and when Christmas Eve came, she would invite everyone she knew, and some people she didn’t know well, to come to the house to celebrate Christmas. The house was decorated with boughs and lights and smelled like a forest with all the evergreen trimmings.

The tree was always beautiful with multicolored lights and tinsel, which I don’t think anyone uses anymore, and decorations that we made when we were children. She also had a collection of silver bell Christmas ornaments. She collected one every year so they’ve been embossed with the year she collected them. The older ones are tarnished, but the newer ones were treated so that they won’t tarnish. When Mom and Dad grew older, they sold their home and moved into an apartment. The only had room for a small tree. When they moved they gave away their Christmas decorations, but not the silver bells. Those were the only ornaments they placed on the tree, but they were so beautiful, they didn’t need any other decorations.

My parents are gone now. When my sisters and brother and I were sorting through their belongings, we found the silver bells, one for each Christmas my parents had been together. We divided them up and now each of us has a silver bell collection. I love placing them on the tree in my home. It makes me remember the wonderful Christmases my parents planned for us. I miss my parents very much, but am so grateful for the memories they created for us and the reminders that hide all year in the Christmas ornament box to be revealed this special time of year when we decorate for Christmas.

I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful holiday season. I wish you peace, joy and love as we celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.