The Kitchen Tree – by Stacey Farrant

I love to savour all of the sights, sounds and tastes of the Christmas season. For me each year, there is one tradition that I anticipate the most; it is the unwrapping of the ornaments that adorn my Christmas Kitchen Tree. 
Since my children were very little I have been collecting these tiny trinkets that resemble gingerbread men, kitchen gadgets and holiday treats. I lovingly hang each one on its branch as I reminisce about how I acquired each precious one. You may wonder how it came to be that I started this tradition. In fact, I had nothing to do with it.  When my daughter was about 4 years old, she started going to the Christmas bazaars with her Grandma Farrant. Sarah was the sweetest little girl; she would get all dressed up in her very best. This was a very exciting outing for her. I still have ladies from town make mention of her little brown faux fur coat with matching hat and muff that she wore on her Christmas shopping excursion.  
Each year, Sarah would tuck some money into her  little purse, so that she could purchase special presents for family members. When Sarah would come home from her  outing with Grandma, she would be far too excited to wait until Christmas morning for me to unwrap her gift. Sarah then began the ritual of my pre-Christmas present. 
I would unwrap the parcel as she watched with anticipation of what I was about to receive. To my surprise it would be an ornament. I remember the first year there were two cinnamon scented ornaments in the shape of a rocking horse and a ginger person. From then the tradition began. As my collection of kitchen-themed ornaments grew, I decided to part them from the main Christmas tree and start my kitchen tree. Over the years I have had family and friends thoughtfully add to my collection. Each ornament holds a special meaning.  
My children are now grown but Sarah, Spencer and Alex still look forward to the sight of my kitchen tree to appear in its place of honour on the counter. As the tree is adorned, we can reflect on the memories that were made and envision the new ones to come, knowing that there are still some branches yet to be filled.

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