Christmas 2009: Family decorations mean everything for Richmonds
BY BONNIE GROPP
Rene Richmond, the 2009 Brussels Citizen of the Year, shared her Christmas traditions with Bonnie Gropp, then-editor of The Citizen. This story originally appeared in the 2009 Christmas special.
Family in the Richmond household as in many others is the hallmark of Christmas.
Some 20 years ago as the family began to grow, Rene (2009 Brussels Citizen of the Year) began a tradition that welcomed each new bundle of joy in a special way.
Richmond, who operated a gift store in Brussels, and her husband Bob were going to be grandparents for the first time, courtesy of their eldest child Bonnie. Among the inventory at the store were tree ornaments which would hold a small photo.
She brought one home just in time for Garrett’s birth in December. Today there are nine gracing the Richmond tree each year with the last addition in 1997.
“I made a point of taking a picture of them on their first Christmas,” said Richmond. “For years I put them at a level where they could find them easily as they were growing up.”
And though they are all now far to adult to care, Richmond said, “they still look for their own on the
With changing styles and trends, plus the fact that she closed the store before all of the grandchildren were born, the styles and colours of the ornaments vary considerably. Which, of course, is not an issue.
“It doesn’t matter how I decorate the tree each year, whatever colours I use, these ornaments go on.”
The ornament tradition has continued in another form as well, with Richmond purchasing among the gifts for her grandchildren, an ornament for “every stage they’re at or for whatever interest they have that year.”
“They are a keepsake for them, something they will have for their own trees when the time comes.”