Monday, December 05, 2005

'Tis the Season to Be Jolly...

We put up our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. All the grandchildren helped—that is, all but the two babies! About halfway up the tree, we have several fairly large masses of decorations in clumps, sort of. There are glass balls almost on top of each other, then candy canes hanging too close to elves and reindeer and angels. But we all declared that it is very beautiful-- the best one yet.

The oldest ornament we have is a red and white plastic Santa Claus with a little groove in his hand where he once held a lollipop. (I started to say “sucker,” but “lollipop” is a much nicer word, don’t you agree?) It was on our family tree back in the fifties.

Our oldest granddaughter loves the little clear, handblown glass ball that I bought at a glass-blowing factory in Switzerland when her mother and I went with a school tour about….eighteen years ago. I can’t imagine why I didn’t buy at least a dozen of them. My favorites are a ceramic quetzel bird and a vanilla bean bird that my parents brought us from South America. The vanilla bean bird lives in an aluminum can all year, so it smells wonderful when we take it out.

But then, too, some of my favorites are the ones our kids made in elementary school with their pictures in the center. And the ones a dear friend did for us in needlepoint.

We all had hysterics over the white macrame wreath I crafted back in the seventies when macrame was all the rage. Even so, it did manage to make it to the front door, decked out in bright red and green plaid ribbon, newly unwrinkled.

It reminds me of when my brother and I were little and our parents let us decorate our tree. They would sit and watch and hand us things, nodding and chuckling and declaring its beauty. The last thing to go on the tree was always the tinsel. Jim and I would get handfuls of it and throw it on the tree. My sainted mother never rearranged anything or made any disparaging remarks, even though now, in pictures from those days, I can certainly see the results.

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