Sit back, and look closely at your tree
Hands up, everybody who’s not ready for Christmas. My hand is up.
We decorated our tree last weekend. Carol’s 97-yearold mother, Audrey, was designated wine drinker, Carol was designated boss and I played the part of heavy-lifter, toter, ladder-climber and tree-trimmer. Everyone played his/her role flawlessly.
We sat, glasses in hand, admiring our handiwork. It struck me that I can’t remember the last time I did that – sit and actually take in the tree.
We all have scads of ornaments we’ve had for a lifetime, don’t we? When you finish trimming your tree, will you sit and savour the memories of individual pieces, remembering where they came from?
Like me, you’ll revive memories of your parents, your children and maybe your grandkids. I have about a dozen things my mom and dad made, either for me or our kids. My folks were tailors and they loved creating. They discovered pottery in their retirement, so we have some hand-painted things from that era. I cherish them as I do the things the kids made in school.
I was the youngest of eight. The Saturday before Christmas, we would all trudge through the woods looking for that perfect tree. It got cut down, brought home and the first thing my dad did was make an “X” stand out of surplus two-by-fours.
The tree came into the house the day before Christmas where it stood all day to allow the branches to settle. After Christmas Eve dinner, my folks played host to whomever came by to say, Merry Christmas. We kids twiddled our thumbs while the grown-ups had a little Christmas cheer. Once everybody had come and gone, the kids were allowed to put lights on the tree. Then, off to Midnight Mass. We’d get home from Church at about 1:30 am when it was off to bed for everyone but Mom and Dad.
They trimmed the tree and brought all the presents out of their hiding places. I never thought of it as a kid, but my parents couldn’t have had three hours sleep on any given Christmas Eve.
What a huge effort they made. They were one wonderful couple, Frank and Shirley, and Christmas was an incredible adventure at our house. (Especially for me, the youngest).
Our family hopes your family has a wonderful Christmas and we wish you luck in getting your shopping completed without too much angst.
Fred Trainor is a retired broadcaster in OK Falls. Email fred[email protected]