Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Our Christmas tree saga

As we pulled the Christmas storage boxes from the attic this year, I determined that just because a decoration was in my possession, I did not have to display, or even keep, it. Principle among these items would be gifts I’d been stuck with, uh, won, at gift exchanges. True to my word, I found several such to donate to Second Time Around and many more that, because of condition, just went into the trash.
Our new tree this year is tall and skinny, not tall and rotund. There’s simply not room on it for all the ornaments I’ve accumulated over 34 years of marriage. Our favorites went on the tree, as did the better looking ones, both old and new. Everything else went back in the attic to be passed to the now-grown children who brought them home in the first place.
Going into our attic is a bit of a time-warp, not just for the things we’ve tossed up there, sure we’ll use them again someday, but also for the things I brought from my parent’s home. In particular, green glass Christmas balls, placed after use, into their original store packages.

Mother was particularly fond of single-color trees. I remember these green balls because they hung on an aluminum tree and later on a white flocked aluminum tree. Our black cat, Snowball, always looked fetching sitting under this tree, posing for us, hoping we’d go away so he could go back to his very real business of knocking the balls off the lower branches and promptly disappearing. It was his winter exercise routine.

Those aluminum trees define our Christmases in the ’60s, just as the live ones Daddy would bring in and soak in water in the garage defined the ’50s. By the ’70s I had my own tree, small and sitting on a bookcase. I handmade the ornaments and this year, for the first time, they didn’t make it to the tree, although the Christmas tree skirt did, albeit turned upside-down.
Oh, my. That’s kind of sad. I think I’ll go back into the attic and find the old ornaments--and turn the tree skirt over.


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