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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Where Christmas Lived

"The tree" decorated for this year. 

Most of my family won't be here. But the little crew that will be are most welcome... 

I have spent every Christmas of my life here. I didn't feel this was the year to change that... 

It's sad without Mom... sure... how could it not be. 

But atop the tree is the angel that has been there since the early 90's, and the last Christmas with my Dad. I still remember my Grandmother laughing and asking why it was red, and me responding, "Well, why not. Maybe she was a fallen angel." She laughed like I'd never seen her laugh before. 

I can still hear Maw Maw. 

Everyone loved to tease Mom every year about her tree, saying her tree was ugly. She'd staunchly support: "It's NOT ugly! There's nothing wrong with that tree!" 

I can hear Mom too

It became, over the course of time, an "old tree." Out of fashion as it were. You still have to string on the lights... none of those fancy fiber optics on the ends. The branches don't fold up. You put them into holes based on a color coded system which nobody remembers the code for, and the color tabs on the branches are faded beyond identification anyway. So some years, some branches may not be where they are supposed to be. But hey, whatever... 

I don't think it's an ugly tree at all... I think they just liked to tease her... to get her reaction. 

Afterall, she still had ornaments on there that were made by us from decades ago: The popsicle/yarn cross that either Robbie or Ray made in Boy Scouts... the stained glass ones I made when I was eight, a craft paper snowman made by one of us. She saved everything...Each was a memory and had a story to her. 

How could her tree be anything but beautiful...

And then there was the silver wrapping paper. 

Mom was the personnel manager at Sears. When they closed down their gift wrap section (remember when stores would wrap your gifts?), she brought home what seemed like thousands of miles of this silver wrapping paper with a winter scene etched in black... For 20 years or more that was probably the only paper you'd see under that tree. 

It was actually a shock to all of us when it ran out, and there was something other than a metallic hue under the branches.  Like it should have been foretold by Nostradamus or been on the Mayan Calendar, it was SO momentous.

Those are the things I remember when I look at my Mom's conifer... and it makes me smile... I might not think of those things if I wasn't here now sitting in her chair looking at our wonderfully "ugly" tree. 

This is were Christmas always lived.