“Your mom always lets me hang up my horse on the tree. She always puts up the tree and decorate the tree, but the horse is always left for me. She always had the brown horse and I always had the white horse, and so leaving the white horse always left me contributing to the tree just a little bit, so we could still do it together.”
This is a tradition enacted in the informant’s household every year since he was married in 1981. The informant and his wife would always want to decorate the tree together, but over the years when she quit her job to take care of their children, she often would decorate the tree at some time during the week while they were at work. Because it was a tradition that they decorate the tree together in preparation for Christmas, she always left him the white horse as a way for him to participate in decorating the tree (other than aiding in bringing the tree into their house). The white horse was important to them because they got the horses as a set, and therefore had meaning to them as a couple rather than just as individual ornaments. Tree decoration is a family activity, and this tradition has spawned so that everyone in the family always has at least one ornament that they put on the tree themselves if they will be there for that year’s Christmas.