Sit back, and look closely at your tree

The Daily Courier - - LIFE & ARTS - TRAINOR FRED A Lit­tle Good News

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]

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