Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Build it and they will come


For years I avoided erecting
these balsam towers. Many a
Christmas was celebrated in
Williamsburg at my parent's
fully decked home.
More recently, Frank went to
Montana at least a week prior.
Meaning a glowing fir arose in
our Lewistown living room
BEFORE my arrival.

I'm not sure where my allergy to evergreens actually started.
In my younger days nothing made me happier than putting up the tree!
I planned, fussed, arranged, fluffed, rearranged, and swagged to the max!

Drop it... now!
A struggling student, I purchased a
"fresh" tree for $5 at a discount lot.
While vacuuming in preparation
for my first tree trimming party -
I gently tapped the tree stand.
ALL of the needles fell off!
With guests arriving shortly I rushed
out and purchased a tiny tree from
the reputable neighborhood lot.
Fortunately it was "pot luck" so
there was plenty of food/drink for all!
Out of the mouth of babes...
My oldest daughter was 21 months old for her second Christmas.  That morning her Mother carried her down the stairs as I cried "HO-HO-HO" from behind the tree. Filled with joyful anticipation we sat Elizabeth down in front of her artfully arranged (and color coordinated) gifts. Her response? A cacophony of screaming sobs! We finally realized that all she wanted was a bowl of cereal in the safety of her high chair.  An hour later Liz happily opened her presents.

Courtesy of www.mnprairieroots.files.wordpress.com
Where's Martha?
Fiscal challenges did not defer decor! Out of a job - I festooned with fresh garland crafted from cuttings found in the trash. On Christmas Eve I grabbed a free tree after the lot closed. Imagine merrily decorating it at 2 am?!
Oh to be young again.

I get very melancholy thinking about Christmas past.
I don't miss the multiple trees, wreaths on every window, sugar dipped fruit, roaring fires, or bowls of shiny red apples. All of that was truly a fantasy. 
Like a character in an old movie 
I did everything possible to create the perfect holiday. 

But decor wasn't enough...

Barbara Stanwyck - Christmas In Connecticut - 1945

Like many - some of my hardest times have been spent during the holidays.
Furtive gatherings seemed to bring out the worst in my fractured family.
Sadly many a Christmas was filled with anger and heartache on all sides.
These events made all the accoutrements become symbols of sadness.

Wake up Ebenezer!

A Christmas Carol - 1938
With Frank's help I've worked my way out of holiday purgatory. My only remaining piece of Christmas baggage is an aversion to tree trimming. However yesterday we decorated our tree TOGETHER. And as with any work in progress.. it was not perfect. But I'll get there... promise!