My daughter sent me a description of the ornaments (drawn on paper and handcolored by her) on her Christmas tree, late last night. I am copying and pasting it, in its entirety, below:
Xmas tree ornaments:
I decided to decorate my ‘tree’ with ‘ornaments’ that reminded me of things that I was grateful for or that brought me joy in the past year – warning, it gets quite sappy, so read with caution.
Starting at the top, and then moving down across the rows:
At the top of the tree, there are a bunch of crests that are from Digimon, that struck me as the easiest way to visually represent some of the more abstract concepts I wanted to show on my tree:
· Crest of light
o A reminder to always try and look at the bright side of things, instead of focusing on all the negatives.
o Also reminds me of this quote from Dumbledore (in Harry Potter series) that I really tried to keep in mind this year: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
· Crest of hope
o Fairly self-explanatory I think, but, it’s been so important to keep hoping that better days will come and I am thankful that despite all the hardships and stress of this year, I’ve been able to keep that hope alive in me
· Crest of kindness
o This year I’ve been struck with gratitude at how kind the people in my life are – from friends and family bringing my mom cooked food or offering to buy her groceries to the kindness of my coworkers checking in to see how I’m doing mentally and emotionally and offering to give of themselves if I ever need anything – I feel really blessed to know and be touched by such kindness
· Crest of love
o Again, very obvious – I’m thankful for the love I’ve received from friends and family – even though we haven’t been able to see each other in person for the majority of this year, I’ve felt their love through our long-distance interactions
· Crest of friendship
o And, I can’t say thank you enough to the wonderful friends I have – friends who I can have ongoing text conversations with, have virtual movie nights with, have virtual crafting sessions with… I’m seriously so lucky to have the group of friends that I have
· Crest of courage
o This is one of the things that I’ve really had to work on this year – having the courage to deal with unprecedented situations and uncertain times, and, having the courage to speak out against the wrongs of the world – and I’m thankful for being able to gather the courage to deal with all the various challenges that this year has brought
· Crest of sincerity
o This might seem like a really little thing, but, I’ve noticed (and appreciated) an increase in the sincerity of asking the question “How are you?” – whereas this phrase is usually just a customary opening question in a conversation, this year I’ve noticed it turn into a sincere question when I talk with people in that we actually do genuinely want to know how the other person is doing and check that they’re holding up alright
· Crest of knowledge
o I can’t say how thankful I am for increased knowledge this year – particularly with regards to COVID… at the beginning of the year, nothing was really known about it, but so much progress has been made on knowing what are the proper precautions to take, and, we’re even now at a point where vaccinations are possible thanks to what we’ve learned about this virus – not to say that our knowledge is perfect on it yet, but, if there’s ever been a year to be thankful of learning more about things, it’s this one!
· Crest of reliability
o Gonna keep this one short and sweet - knowing I have people who I can rely upon has definitely been a blessing to me this year.
· Crest of miracles
o I’m so thankful for all the little miracles this year has had – I’m not going to list them all out, but, to give you a flavor: having all the people that I personally know who got COVID be able to recover, timing working out in ways that protected my health and the health of my mom, having technology available and accessible in a way that allowed me to safely keep myself at home during this time
And, now moving on to the ornaments of much less sappy and abstract things that have brought me joy in the past year:
o This is a character from the anime Natsume Yuujinchou, which I have been obsessed with rewatching multiple times this year – it was such a relaxing and comforting series to watch and enjoy
o This is a character from the anime CardCaptor Sakura, which I also have loved rewatching over and over this year – it’s such a happy and cute anime that just makes me smile every time I watch it
· Phantom Thieves logo
o This is a logo from the game/anime Persona 5 – I loved watching the anime and listening to the great music from it, but also, playing the game which centers around bringing corrupt people in society to justice was so therapeutic at times when the world felt like it was going crazy and problems in the real world were reaching fever pitches
o This is a mascot character from the series Trails of Cold Steel – which, I’ve been obsessed with playing lately – no deep meaning behind this one, it’s just a really fun games series to play!
· Konoha symbol
o From Naruto – during parts of this year, I really enjoyed playing some Naruto videogames and reading Naruto fanfiction – those were two really enjoyable activities
The next row includes ornaments that symbolize activities I’ve loved to do in the past year:
· Lucky Star cat
o This one has multiple meanings, (1) it’s an image that appears in the anime Lucky Star (one of my all-time favorite anime) so I’m using it to represent watching anime, which is such an enjoyable activity to me (if you didn’t already realize that from the earlier ornaments, haha)
o (2) I’m also using it to represent all the crafting I’ve been doing this year, since one of the projects I’m working on is a cross stitch of a scene from Lucky Star – I feel like I’ve really exercised my arts and crafts muscles this year!
o (3) And, lastly, as the cat is yawning, I’m using it to represent how important it’s been to take breaks and allow myself to take things easy at times during this year
· Athletic Playground logo
o Omigosh, AP has been an absolute godsend this year – I’ve loved taking their various acrobatics classes for years now, and, I’m so happy that they were able to offer virtual classes this year
o Doing acrobatics, couch parkour, conditioning, and dance classes has been amazing for me – not only has it kept me fairly physically fit and healthy, but, it’s just been SO fun and I always feel so good after taking one of their classes
· Nintendo Switch
o I finally caved and bought myself a Nintendo Switch this year – a purchase that I’m very happy with, and, more generally, I’m using this to represent videogaming – which is an activity that has brought me SO much entertainment and happiness during this year
· Book of friends
o And, here we have a repeat of an anime – Natsume Yuujinchou (aka Natsume’s Book of Friends) – though in this case I’m using it to represent the activity of learning more Japanese (since it has some Japanese kanji characters on the cover) – I’ve tried to improve my Japanese language skills this year and playing games in Japanese, reading a book in Japanese, and watching anime in Japanese without subtitles are all activities I’ve really enjoyed doing that brought me a sense of accomplishment this year
o This is standing in for all the impromptu, random karaoke sessions I’ve had alone in my apartment – honestly is just SO fun to do!
And in the last two rows, we have a bunch of ornaments from various fandoms I’ve been loving this year
· Animal crossing
o The first three ornaments are a fossil, bell bag, and Nook Inc./furniture symbol from Animal Crossing – along with my Switch, I got myself the Animal Crossing New Horizons game this year, and, it’s been SO much fun to play it – designing my island, getting all the clothes to create different outfits for my in-game character, visiting friends’ islands… just has been such a great way to kick back and relax
· Rockman.exe symbol
o This is from Rockman.exe, which is an anime and game series that I’ve enjoyed watching and playing this year
o Also, since that series is based in an internet-centric world, I’m using it to express my thankfulness for the internet, and really technology as a whole – don’t know how I would’ve handled this year without all the things that technology has made possible!
o Again, it’s been fun to replay some of my old Pokemon games, and, at times has been nice to watch some of the episodes of the anime or some of the movies – nothing like Pokemon to harken back to the golden days of stress-free, happy childhood :3
o Another multi-faceted one – I’ve really enjoyed getting more into kpop songs and dances this year, and, I’ve also loved practicing and playing the piano (well, keyboard)
· Clow key
o Just another ornament using an item from the anime Cardcaptor Sakura, what can I say, I really love that series!
o And, another character from Persona 5 – again, wanted to include another image from this series because I’ve enjoyed it so much this year!
o And, a digivice from Digimon – I’ve enjoyed reading Digimon fanfiction, playing Digimon games in Japanese, and, I’ve been loving the new Digimon 2020 anime!