Every year, for as long as I can remember, my mom's holiday carousel graced our mantle during the holiday season.
I remember humming along to the Christmas carols it played and staring at the lights as the carousel horses turned. Every year it was there. It was released the same year I was born, 1992, Christmas Eve. It moved with us, from house to house, and every year I looked forward to putting it out. I distinctly remember one Christmas when I was still in high school, we decided to not put up a tree or decorate. We still had to at least put out the carousel and the famous green ceramic tree so many of us remember. It was still Christmas as long as the carousel was there, with it's familiar tunes and festive lights.
This year I asked my mother to borrow the carousel knowing how much my two year old daughter would enjoy it. I admit that it was partially for myself. Nothing can get me as motivated for the holidays as that little music box and it's six horses. My mother agreed and decorated my entire house in an anticipation of it's arrival. I wanted my daughter to have the full effect.
Unfortunately, when we turned it on only half the horses worked.
My mother seemed to think that some of the cords must have gotten wet when she cleaned it and that the would work again after they dried out. My daughter still loved every moment it was on, but I couldn't help but feel disapointed. I tried again the next day, and the next, and the next, but still only half the horses worked. I started searching online for a new set. Only to find that they were going for hundreds of dollars. I let it sink in. I was sad. It felt like the end of an era.
I stopped turning it on. I let over a week go by without so much as touching it.
Then something amazing happened. My mom came over for her birthday dinner and went to turn it on for my daughter and IT WORKED. Suddenly I was the same excited child I was all those years ago. I beamed as I held my daughter up to look at all the different horses and I began to hum the tunes again.
It's amazing how something so small and simple can be so important in our lives. The tradition of setting the carousel out will always be near and dear to my heart. I sincerely hope my daughter grows to love and value the tradition in the same way I do.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?