healing haven

December 27, 2008

A Christmas Tree Transformtion

Filed under: memoir,SoulCollage — by thalia @ 9:02 am
Tags: , , ,

One much-loved tradition I grew up with centered on the Christmas tree.  If it snowed, my father would pull me into town on the sled or we would drive.  We’d pick out the tree, load it on the sled or the top of the car, and return.  It would remain outside until Christmas Eve afternoon when Dad would haul the tree into the living room, get it prepared in its holder and tie it up in place so exuberant kids wouldn’t inadvertently topple it.

I remember looking at the tree every year and wondering why it had looked so much better outside, when it was purchased, and how it was so scrawny nothing would improve it.  Years later I could totally relate to Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree program, relating to both Charlie and Lucy’s viewpoints.  I was always disappointed as I marched up the stairs to bed after my younger siblings all had gone to bed.  The presents we had gotten one another were in small piles in the living room, waiting for Santa to come, fully decorate the tree, and bring presents to augment our meager piles.  He would have the cookies and milk we left for him and be gone to do the same for everyone else all over the world.

And every year, as I came down the dark  stairs by 6 am, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the fully light-covered tree with each strand of silver tinsel put on separately.  Even knowing my parents spent most of the night decorating the tree and gathering, wrapping and putting together presents did not take away from the beauty and wonder of seeing the tree that morning.  It was always an incredible transformation-never taken for granted.  I still entwine little lights in a hanging philodendron to be savored all year long.


 Gifts were opened Christmas morning, followed by breakfast, and then church.  Relatives arrived in the afternoon and we all enjoyed lots of food.  Didn’t everyone celebrate Christmas that way?

I married a man whose tradition put up the tree (and maybe even a fake one) the week before Christmas.  They opened presents and went to church Christmas Eve.  They slept in a bit on Christmas Day, then visited and ate again.

It took some “conflict resolution” to come to terms on how to “do” Christmas.  As it turned out we spent our first Christmas in Panama, which was totally different from either of our traditions.  We later worked out a pattern that satisfied both of us and became the pattern for our children.


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