The Tree

bahAs I get older, I find it harder to get myself into the Christmas spirit.   Yes, that is partly because my Inner Curmudgeon is a distant relative of Ebeneezer Scrooge.    Bah, humbug, he says as my neighbors literally cover their front lawn with every inflatable garish Christmas decoration they can find.   Bah, humbug, he says as car company commercials co-opt the holiday season, renaming it The Season of Audi or Happy Honda Days, and air commercials with adults drooling like toddlers over a car in their driveway.   I work hard to keep my Curmudgeon Inner, but it’s hard to do when the parking lot at Costco is like a demolition derby and in order to shop at the Brea Mall, I have to park on the outskirts of Lithuania.   Shopping for gifts for those I love used to be a way to lift my spirits, but these days, my daughter posts all the gifts her family wants on Amazon and both Muri and I have reached a point in our lives where the things we want can’t be bought.  Shopping becomes work.

Last week, I made my December pilgrimage to the storage bin and brought the boxes (and boxes!) of decorations home.   My Inner Curmudgeon said, Are you kidding me?   20171206_22165184151121.jpgLast year, after roughly 20 years celebrating with us, our artificial tree was dropping more needles than a real one … and getting all the lights to work

 was a several hour task.  So, this year, I decided to buy a new, smaller one more befitting our scaled down Christmas.  However, smaller trees are had to come by here in UpperMiddleClassville, so the tree waiting in the living room to be decorated is six inches taller and features 8 different patterns of white or colored lights.  Wednesday night, I put my Bud’s Christmas Music playlist on Alexa and started on the tree.   I figured if decorating the tree didn’t get me going, it was going to be a long Christmas.  Not to worry.

Unpacking the ornaments is like a trip through over seventy years of Christmases.   Some of the ornaments were on my parents tree before I was born.   There are ornaments from our first tree and from the years in which we adopted our children.   For fifty years, Santa has brought several new ornaments each year and he continues to do so, even though my Inner Child is the only kid who looks for them these days.  Every year, it seems, a few break.  If the damage is minor, they get to stay.  The glass Rudolph with the missing back leg and the cat with missing ears make me smile every time they come out of the box.  And the music plays a part, too, of course.   I love it all but I especially love the songs with a touch of poignancy and nostalgia.   So I’ll Be Home for Christmas always brings a tear, as does Sarah McLachlan’s lovely Wintersong.   Then along comes Jingle Bell Rock, Little Saint Nick and  Have a Holly Jolly Christmas to make me smile.

And here it is Saturday and I’m in the holiday mood.  We’ve had our traditional Christmas dinner with friends and I’ve sent off some gifts for back East.   Old Scrooge is still turning off the sound on the Christmas commercials but otherwise, he’s behaving himself.   That’s as good as its going to get.

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4 Comments on “The Tree”

  1. barrythewiz Says:

    I love this post. It was great to read it today as we prepare for our annual Channukah latke fry. Wish you were here.

  2. Enjoyed your post. Memories and traditions are so important. This is a new holiday tradition I am trying to spread this year. If you like it, please share it. Thanks, Rita

    • oldereyes Says:

      I will share it, Rita, on me Facebook page. I’ve often thought that if we spent 10% of what we spend on luxuries on charities, the world would be a better place. I make a point of making extra contributions to charities like City of Hope, ASPCA, and the Alzheimers association at Christmas time.

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