Christmas is here and with it comes the many traditions and legends that are part of the season. Many of the traditions are ones which have developed on their own, in our own homes and by our own families and have stories of their own. On the other hand, some of the timely things we do because we have always them done — but we don’t know why.

Take for example the Christmas tree, which is very symbolic. Being an evergreen, it stays green year round and represents eternal life. The most traditional decoration for the top of the tree is a star, signifying the star of Bethlehem. We put lights on the tree representing Christ as the light of the world. Gifts under the tree can mean the gifts of hope, love, joy and peace that we all wish for each other. They can also represent the gifts the Magi brought to the Christ child.

Growing up we had a traditional tree until flocked trees came into being. God did not make pink trees, but we had one. Eventually, we convinced mom we needed a real tree so back to tradition we went. 

Now my friend, Jean Kelly, had three trees at her house, and one of them had ornaments that were all homemade cookies which, of course, could not be eaten until after Christmas. By then they were a little hard, cute but no longer edible.

The Kosey household had real trees until I went for the artificial tree, no needles to pick up. It worked well until the year the Kosey kids decided to use the tree pole as a seesaw and it broke. 

Undeterred, Husband Joe fixed it and we commenced decorating it with 500 Italian lights and hundreds of strands of tinsel before going to bed. The tree didn’t last through the night and we awoke to a crumpled tree. 

We cleaned up the mess, bought a real tree and started over. Of course, it wasn’t the kids’ fault. Their explanation? The tooth fairy did it.

Now as I put up Christmas tree 2013, I can reflect on Christmases past and the traditions and new memories to be made, but I will also take time to think about the symbolism of the tree and the real meaning of Christmas. 

With that in mind I think the lights will twinkle a little brighter and the star will have a special shine.