Today, I decorated our tree.
Half way through, I just had to call my daughter, and remind her of what we used to do when she and her brother were still at home.
Before we touched the tree, we’d put on a Christmas album which contained various well-known singers doing their rendition of popular Christmas songs.
The first song on the album was always Andy Williams, belting out, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year….” As soon as I mentioned it, my daughter broke into song with me. It was a very warm, and fuzzy moment.
I prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate, and put up our tree. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas, I like to separate the two holidays so I can enjoy each.
It’s my unsolicited opinion; we start way too soon with all the Christmas hype, so I’m stubborn, and wait. Besides that, the tree gets so dry by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen.
I have two cats, they like to help with the tree trimming which can end up making the job a little more challenging. They love to sleep under it, chase each other around it, and bat at the ornaments, I so strategically placed on the tree.
The lights go on first; I do them different every season thinking I’ll get it right one of these years. I’ve heard you’re not supposed to go around-and-around, but tuck the lights between the branches in a horizontal way. I still go round-and-round.
Speaking of lights, I remember my grandmother telling me they didn’t put their tree up until Christmas Eve, and only then did they light the tree with real candles, no less. I can’t imagine how beautiful that must have been, and how potentially dangerous.
Every year, when I open the boxes with ornaments, and decorations, I find some of them have disintegrated, like the dough art figures I made during the 80s’. I guess they only have a certain shelf or tote life.
There are the ornaments my students gave to me over the years— crudely made, but with love. The ones my children made for me, and that I gave to them…my sentimentality causes me to smile, and remember the reason, and circumstance for each.
There’s the Santa, riding a football, I gave to my son one Christmas, and the ballerina for my daughter. There’s even an artist holding a pallet we all gave my husband (the artist) one year.
I guess you’d call my tree, a memory tree. I don’t do the theme thing that a lot of people do. I do remember a few years back, I used chili pepper lights on our tree to give it a southwest flair.
Yes, my tree is pretty traditional, but somehow it looks a little different every year.
I almost gave into the thought of getting an artificial tree this year, for about two seconds. I just couldn’t do it. There’s something familiar about a real, green, living (was living) fragrant evergreen holding all my little trinkets that remind me of my children, career, friends, and all the other sappy things I won’t bore you with.
In the 60’s my mother, Corn Rose, loved to decorate for Christmas. She didn’t have a lot, but made the most of what she had. One year, she went a little wild. She put up that ever popular, aluminum tree.
A rotating light, which was divided into pie shapes of different plastic colored wedges, brought this spindly thing to life. The sparkling branches changed colors as the wheel slowly turned. It became the most magical thing I’d ever seen in our living room.
My favorite thing about that tree, however, was how romantic it was to sit with my boyfriend, and ….well you know…
I hope all your trees are magical, bringing you joy this Christmas… real or not.