Monday, December 8, 2014

An Ornament Story: Big Balls

When I was growing up in Greensboro, NC as an only child our family Christmas tree was decorated primarily with garland, lights and round glass ornaments. At some point my Dad purchased a new set of ornaments that were larger than the ones we usually had on the tree. They quickly became known as the Big Balls (and this was years before the TV show Wipeout). I loved them. Dad loved them. Mom was never a fan. As the years passed, new ornaments were added. Glass balls were broken and replaced. But the Big Balls lived on. And every year the argument continued- were the Big Balls too tacky for our tree?

After moving to Florida in 1995 my folks downsized their tree and a number of the ornaments they had traditionally used were left in the box each Christmas. MarilynWill and I would always spend Thanksgiving at their home and help them decorate the tree, and then guys made sure that the Big Balls tradition continued- now with Marilyn also fighting them tooth and nail.  

In 2006 my Dad passed away, and for the next several years Mom didn't put up a tree because she was spending Christmas at our house. All of her ornaments sat unused. Then in 2011 she brought a box of classic ornaments to us, and much to my surprise a few of the Big Balls had survived. She and Marilyn refused to allow them on our tree, which is dominated by Hallmark ornaments and Disney collectibles. Will and I complained, but to no avail. And so the Big Balls waited.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving weekend, 2012. I am fresh off of toe surgery, sitting in my recliner and removing ornaments from boxes as Mom put hooks in them and Marilyn and Will place them on our tree. I come across the box containing the Big Balls, and Will decides to take charge. Before anyone can react, Will has placed them on the tree. It is a major victory for us...and for my Dad, who was no doubt smiling down on us. And after a bit of battling, they remained on the tree that entire season.  

But this story has an epilogue. On Christmas morning of that year I was given a new ornament for the Jones family tree. It's an ever BIGGER ball, which is pictured here hanging in a place of honor on the 2014 version of our tree. It joins the remaining vintage big balls as a great reminder that Christmas is full family traditions- and not all of them make sense to anyone else. In fact, those are often the very best ones!  

I hope that all of you cherish your traditions during this festive season and celebrate the birth of the Christ-child with warm memories and loving family. From the Jones family, we wish you an early Merry Christmas! And Big Balls...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/08/2014

    Great story, with a real eye-catching title! :)


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