After a few sleepless hours in the night, I decided to ask Marie if I could write about the her family’s annual trim-a-tree party and the Serenbe tree lighting event. Since I was awake thinking about it, I thought I could at least write about it.
For those of you familiar with Marie and Serenbe, you know the importance of both family and community in her life. This was the first year I attended the Nygren’s trim-a-tree party, and that feeling was never quite as evident to me as it was last night.
An intimate group of friends and family gathered at the Nygren’s home around 4:30 to help decorate the tree. It was great fun to see the selection of ornaments which ranged from old family heirlooms to ornaments made by their three daughters when they were kids.
At 6:30 we walked down the street to the green for enjoy the lighting of the Serenbe tree, which I will write about in another posting since that was it’s own special event.
When we returned to Marie’s, the real magic began in the kitchen. Several of us helped prepare the arugula salad, bake the muffins and watch Marie put the final touches on the Shepard’s pie. Karen and Marie made the salad, Kara and I put the muffin dough in the tins, while simultaneously Steve moved it all to the oven. Within minutes the kitchen counter transformed to “lots of stuff” all around, people everywhere, salad flying into the bowl to an absolutely perfect meal.
“The most special part of the evening for me was when everyone gathered in a circle in the kitchen (where else would we be in Marie’s home) and she said a few words before her husband Steve lead us in a lovely prayer. The circle was all considered family, whether you were true family or close friends. To me, this moment encompassed all that Serenbe is and all that the Nygren’s have created within our community, and the real meaning of what the holiday season is all about.”
We ate, we laughed, and we shared memories around the table for hours. Some of us were strangers at the beginning of the evening but in the end we shared a very special time with good friends and family.