By Mo Breden
When I was a little girl, and throughout my childhood, my father would go out on Christmas Eve, after dark and buy the tree, it was the best bargain, but not always the best selection of trees. He always bought a tree that was full, but the trees were always too tall and wound up taking up half the living room. The smell was, Christmas. We would hang our stockings and go to bed. My parents (crazy as they were) would tell us that Santa was coming to decorate the tree and bring us presents. So from about ten o’clock on Christmas Eve, till God knows when, my mother wrapped presents, filled stockings and decorated the tree. I’m sure my father helped some with those jobs, but not much. On Christmas morning, when we came down the stairs, it was pure and simple CHRISTMAS MAGIC!! Stockings, which were limp, were now plump with treasures, the tree was decorated with lights and tinsel and ornaments and sometimes shaving cream, yes shaving cream. It was messy, but when it’s on the branches for a few hours it puffs up like fresh fallen snow, trust me it was beautiful to a child’s eyes. Since there were four children in my family the mounds of presents under the tree were enough to take your breath away. Never mind that some of the presents were things like a bar of soap and a washcloth, under the tree it looked as good as gold. My childhood Christmas trees will live with me till the end of my time and will always make me smile and yearn for those warm days at home with my family.
One year when I was an adult with children of my own an individual, who shall remain nameless, but who I no longer speak to, very quizzically asked me, “So what’s the THEME of your tree”. She proceeded to tell me that I should have a theme, whether it is red, or teddy bears, I don’t remember much else of that conversation and it’s not important. My Christmas tree as an adult has always been about my life. In my first apartment, I had no money for decorations, so I saved paper clip boxes from work, decorated them, and hung them on my tree. I also hand sewed, about 12 stuffed ornaments, and hung them on the tree. Through the years, my tree reflects the places I’ve lived, and visited. When my children came along, there were a number of ornaments dedicated to them or made by them. There are ornaments hand made by dear friends, some who are no longer with me, and I cherish them. Almost every ornament has a sentimental attachment or a story of my life attached to it. If you come to my house, pick an ornament and I will tell you a story. So, there is no THEME to my tree, it is my life on a Christmas tree.
When I was a teenager, I spent many Christmas Eve’s at my best friend, Elaine’s house. Elaine’s mother is the epitome of style and grace. Her home was beautifully decorated; I always loved spending time there. Her Christmas tree blew me away. It was perfect. It was white; with white lights, and through the years she would change the color of the ornaments on the tree. One year, kelly green, another pink. It often matched the color of the furniture in the living room. I loved that tree.
Every year, I say, I’m going to do a white tree with pink ornaments, but when Christmas comes around, I drag out the old ornaments, which I only see once a year and decorate my tree. I love sitting by it, I love putting presents for others under it, and I love the memories of my life, past, present and future, that are on that tree. But, one year I am going to do a white tree with pink ornaments!!!
Thanks for stopping by to read my post; I hope to see yas next time, for Life with Mo.