|"Fluffy" in all its (his? her?) splendor...|
(Don't worry, it will still be a surprise, not even my mom reads this blog regularly.)
Anyway, while I was writing up my December memory, it reminded me something about my childhood Christmases, I was the one in my family who really liked to decorate.
My family is an ironic bunch and I am the chief sap in the family.
Jaded journalist? Yes.
Guy who tears up at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life" every time? Also yes.
Hell, I even get choked up watching Chevy Chase try to get his family to appreciate Christmas.
Understand, for me Christmas for me is about the sentiment.
|A local ornament I bought in 2002.|
I don't begrudge those who consider it a religious holiday.
More power to them, and I'm happy it gives them joy and purpose.
But history shows that Jesus was born sometime in March and the whole Christmas thing was just the Church's way of co-opting pagans into the fold
But hey, that's ancient history. Literally.
And we still carry many of those pagan traditions into our homes each year, the most central of which is the Christmas tree.
For me, the tree holds pride of place. Not because of the gifts that go under it. Frankly, I could do without the gifts and just go for the decorations, the food, and, most especially, the music. Always the music.
My grandmother made this many
tells the story of our family.
I have some truly God-awful ornaments that my mother's mother made for our tree that I still put up each year, even though they often go in the back.
I don't love it, but it wouldn't be our Christmas tree without it. It's where we're from.
Regular readers of this blog (yes, both of you) may recall a post I wrote in the 2011 season about a tree we accepted as a gift from a friend who had cut it down and which fell unceremoniously one morning.
The chief casualty of that mishap was an ornament my wife had inherited from her grandmother. We talk about its loss every year as we decorate.
Each year we buy a new ornament (or two) and add to our history.
This ornament is the product of one
Firstly, my son has important XBox responsibilities and my wife is already working hard to corral him into this year's craft project.
One advantage (if you choose to look at it that way) of being a poor journalist is that family gets hand-made gifts each year
|My son's favorite ornament.|
My wife is quite clever (and talented) in this regard and gifts have ranged from birdhouse ornaments, to hand-made coasters and stuff I couldn't even begin to explain.
|The Wizard of Oz lives in Fluffy.|
For my son, it is a saxophone ornament, and for my wife, a Wizard of Oz set.
As for me, I don't mind doing most of it, silently remembering the trip my wife and I took to Boston when we purchased a whole host of animal ornaments, those we bought in Cape Cod, as well as the one's Dylan made as a child.
|The Cape Cod ornament.|
We use to go each year to Kutz's tree farm in North Coventry, but since that became another practice field for Owen J. Roberts High School, we have been at loose ends.
We've tried different places and this year went to buy our tree from the Mosaic Community Garden on Chestnut Street. But we have a neo-Victorian house (built in 1913) and eight-foot ceilings. The trees they had there were just too small.
(They're still selling them there and you can call ahead and order a certain height.)
|They're very friendly at the community garden.|
But we decided to patronize the tree farm which had supplied those trees at a reduced cost. Heylmun's Pine Hill Farm, also in North Coventry.
And, for the first time in our family history, we cut down our own tree.
My wife and I are partial to concolor, a species of spruce I believe, because they keep their needles, bu they didn't have any at Heylmun's, so we settled on a white pine.
|Yes, I cut it myself!|
Anyway, each year is a different story, which is why I tend to favor the tree decorating, it adds to the narrative.
This year's narrative will include the tree being purchased just before one snow storm hit, and finished as another was arriving.
What more perfect Christmas story could you ask for?
Merry Christmas everyone. Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Men (and Women.)