Our little tree has been standing naked in the corner of our living room since Thursday evening. It soaked up a lot of water and arranged its boughs daintily while it waited for us. We finally got it all dressed up this afternoon, after I had finished decorating the rest of the house. A fresh pot of coffee and Katherine Moller’s CD “Greensleeves and Puddin’ Pies” playing in the background created all the Christmas ambiance we needed to keep us motivated.
I love opening the box of tree ornaments. As I lift each one from its pillow of tissue paper I’m reminded of its provenance – a gift from a patient or something handmade by a neighbour, now long departed. Others were given to me by friends with whom I’ve lost touch but I’m still warmed by the memory of their friendship. Then there are the ones which were conquests in Yankee swap parties with my co-workers, reminders of good times with people I grew to love and respect. Over the years I’ve collected many artistic creations at local craft markets, or from the places I’ve visited. Just a few of our ornaments were mass-produced in some distant land, probably by people working for a pittance. Those ones I bought because they reminded me of my animal companions or they delighted me with their whimsy. Re-discovering them each December conjures up fond thoughts of the people I was with or the events surrounding their acquisition. Each one of these little Christmas treasures holds a story.
I thought about doing something different with our tree this year, perhaps an update was in order.
“Do you think we should go with warm white lights instead of red, for a change?” I asked Bill.
“Well, it would look nice – but I really like the red,” was his reply.
So our Christmas tree looks pretty much like its predecessors for the past ten years, with soft red lights, an eclectic mix of ornaments, and wooden cranberry garlands woven through the branches. A wicker star, spray-painted gold and lit from within with little white lights glows on the top. I thought I would artfully drape some glittery gold wired ribbon around it as a finishing touch. Our little tree ended up looking like a young girl going to her first dance overdressed and wearing too much make-up. The glittery ribbon had to come off.
So here’s the annual Christmas tree photo – almost identical to last year’s picture, and the year before that, and the year before….