O Christmas Tree. 2015-12-01

2015 Christmas TreeThanksgiving is behind us so what surely follows is Christmas decorating. As a kid, the annual decorating festivities were always just after Thanksgiving. It was a time when trees were real, smelled piney fabulous, were picked out by familial consensus, tied to the top of the car, drug into the house, placed in water; and throwing good sense to the wind, wrapped in a struggle of untangled strings of hot large colored bulbs.  Warm to the touch — and if one goes out, they all go out. Finding the burnt-out culprit was a job in itself. Then the silver foil icicles packed in a box were carefully opened and meticulously placed each one separately on the tree. Throwing them or clumping them was absoltely not allowed. The ornaments were unpacked each one a fragile colored shiny glass orb with a metal hook waiting to be hung ever so delicately on one of the heavenly scented branches. Breaking one ornament not only broke up the set but could result in a shattered mess on the floor that may or may not respond to a broom or a vacuum because assuredly a piece of glass will eventually end up in somebody’s foot. Ouch! “At least keep your socks on girls,” Mom would say. Dad would always assemble the track and hitch the train cars together struggling to get the choo-choo clacking around the tree without derailing. “It’s working!” Now let the games begin! Neighborhood Watch (a/k/a  ‘Where’s the cat?’ or ‘Take the dog to the basement’) is now in effect to keep Princess the Calico and King the German Shepherd from destroying the entire masterpiece. A first lesson in responsibility. Then each day coming in the door after school often would mean there were new wrapped presents under the tree.  As they were bought or arrived from distant relatives they would be wrapped and stacked one on top of the other just sitting there as an invitation to pick up and shake trying to guess what was inside the packages. Exciting every year. As childhood morphed into adulthood there was the first apartment, marriage, our own children, and grandchildren — times have changed. We have gone from simple to grand to gaudy just this side of the Griswolds back to simple. Life cycles and things change, but warm and fuzzy childhood Christmases have a way of sticking to your memories and molding your holiday spirit for your entire life… Sandy


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