Those are my husband’s slippered feet, relaxing as he sits back and admires the Christmas tree. We put it up last weekend. Mrs. Scrooge (that would be moi) questioned whether we should bother, we usually have it up at the beginning of December so we can enjoy it all month long. But sick mom’s, bad backs, and other stresses slowed down the holiday fa la la-ing around here, and while I was ready to make do with the fireplace and mantle adornments alone, Doug wanted (actually seemed to need) the tree up. So up it went. While the movie, “Elf”, played in the background, we hung the ornaments one by one, remembering the significance of each as we filled the empty branches of the tree with keepsakes of our 32 years together.
There was our son’s “Baby’s 1st Christmas” satin ball, the tiny red sleigh our daughter made in 2nd grade with her school photo glued in the center, the dancing Kokopelli from a family trip to Sedona, the yellow cab from our New York City adventure, the hand crocheted bird’s nest Doug’s grandmother made us, the little wooden nutcrackers we bought when we were first married and couldn’t afford the beautiful Christopher Radco glass ornaments we have since collected. I must admit, I’m glad we put the tree up. There’s something very relaxing about the evenings now, sitting in the family room with Doug, wrapped in the sparkling glow of the Christmas tree lights.
At the end of my book, one of the characters is reflecting on his life, on the fear and the grief that has literally driven him deep into the woods. He comes to the realization that what he’s feeling is okay, that he hasn’t been indelibly damaged by loss, that “the monster he had been running from wasn’t really a monster after all. It was simply that place in the heart that holds the measure of your history, the joy and the grief, the laughter and the tears, the magic and the wonder; all the ingredients that add up to the story of a life well lived.” The holidays can be difficult. Too much running, too much spending, too much forced holiday cheer when really all we want from Santa sometimes is a little peace and quiet, or better yet, a little peace of mind. To me, a Christmas tree is kind of like that place in the heart, the ornaments we choose and those given to us are delicate echoes of the joys and the losses that make up our stories. So yes, it was worth the trouble, putting up the tree and filling it with our memories. Whether it’s for one week or four weeks or one hundred weeks, taking the time to honor the wonder and magic of Christmas, of our lives, is a worthy and lovely way to spend an afternoon. Merry Christmas Mr. Day, and to all my friends and family near and far whether or not you celebrate Christmas, my wish for you is a happy, healthy, and wonder filled 2012.
Merry Christmas Lilli! I hope 2012 is a wonderful year for you, too!
Merry Christmas to you Kc, have lots of fun with that little granddaughter of yours!
Sorry we habn’t visited much in the last week or so, mom’s been busy.
Happy Christmas dear friends ~ and a joyful and healthy new year to you all. xx
The holidays can be crazy boys, be good now and don’t chew all the bows off the gifts this year!
Hi There, It’s great to hear from you… Hope this finds you happy and healthy!!! After my surgery, I decided not to ‘go all out’ when it comes to decorating for Christmas… But—I did end up doing quite a bit–since I love Christmas so much… Even though my energy level is not 100%—this year has turned out to be one of our very best Christmases… We seem to be more relaxed and are enjoying the REAL meaning of Christmas…
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
I’m glad you’re recovering and allowing yourself to do less and relax more Betsy, hugs to you and George too!
Best wishes for 2012 to you and your family x
Such a lovely reflection on Christmas, and life. (And your tree is beautiful! LOVE that cozy photo.) I SO appreciated your comment on my recent post about my illness, and I may take you up on that offer to chat via e-mail. Thank you for your kindness and your compassion. It means more than you know. I have been overwhelmed with the kindness of strangers that I have witnessed through my experience with blogging, and it has blessed me to know that many are praying for my relief. Wishing you a very happy Christmas, and blessings in the year to come.
Do email me Leslie, any old time:)
I enjoyed your post! I’m glad you decided to go ahead and put up your tree. When we built our house 4 years ago, we moved in on December 15. Everything was still in boxes and in a mess, so people kept saying, “Well, I guess you won’t put up your tree this year.” I did, though! And I’m so glad that I did. I know that a tree isn’t necessary, but it just doesn’t quite seem like Christmas without it! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas today with your family.
Thanks Wendy, we did have a good holiday season this year, now if I could just drag that big old tree downstairs I’d be all set for the new year!
I hope you had a great Christmas! I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. Happy New Year!
Oh thank you so much Rachel, you’re a sweetheart!
Coming by to wish you a New Year filled with many god things. Your tree is lovely – I’m glad you decided to put it up and remember….