The Ornament Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

Christmas is in full swing, at least on paper.  I’ve noticed there’s a bit of lethargy going on.  Are shoppers yawning, or is that my imagination?  Even the Salvation Army bell-ringers look as if they’ve left their cheer at home.

I’m not exactly singing carols either, but have learned to act as if, something I get from my mother who mastered the skill.  Imagine June Cleaver images with mistletoe and a flask.

She loved Christmas making my father search for the most impressive tree.  One year, thinking he was noble, came home with an artificial one from Caldors she threw on the lawn before locking him out of the house.  I can hear her screaming, “a tree, that comes in parts,  ARE YOU CRAZY?”  My poor dad, no wonder he drank.

We had an ornament collection rivaling the Metropolitan’s.  God only knows what happened to it.  We were estranged when she died and rumor has it she gave all her possessions to various non-family members so for all I know, the butcher could have her array of Santas she referred to as her little men.

She loved tinsel, and not where you’d toss a handful wherever it lands…it was carefully placed strand by strand on each branch.  Took hours, but the result, breathtaking.

She was also big on gifts, another trait passed down to me.  I always got one big present and lots of small ones.  But the best was my stocking.  She never used one, it was always something else, like a wastepaper basket, or a pair of boots she’d shove things in wrapping them in tissue tied with curly ribbon.

Even Fluffy the cat got a stocking.  She’d take a slipper Fluff clawed filling it with catnip and treats.  I have to say, for all my mother’s insanity, during the holidays, she was truly at her best.

I too like to create personal packages for those I care for.  I made a few this year, all mailed…modest, but nice with a touch of melancholia mixed in.  For the past five years I’ve done a major one for a friend whose birthday is two days after Christmas, one I really fuss over, but alas, they no longer want me in their life so this year will be the last.  Made me very sad finding myself weeping at the post office like a depressed elf.

In any event, receiving is in the giving.  It’s nice to remember gentler times where life was celebrated with loved ones who embraced the day, so I will have those times to revisit because that’s the thing about memories of Christmas past, they belong to you and no one can ever take them away.

How’s that for a gift.              images












About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Family, friendship, Gratitude, Home, humor, Love, New York City, parents and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Ornament Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

  1. I’d say that’s a darn good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I miss those gentler times too….nothing beats it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I can identify with your mom at Christmas. I don ‘t use tinsel anymore, but when I did I also placed it strand by strand. I believe the term is anal, ha ha! As for stockings, I lost ours about 15 years ago; probably tossed out in a plastic bag by mistake. Too cheap to by 6 more, I use our collection of Santa hats.
    As for an impressive tree, that goes to my husband and two sons. Every three years we use a real tree. They always ask how big and I always reply,” Not more than 12 feet.” And they NEVER listen. This year’s tree is 17 1/2 feet, with the star brushing the ceiling. And that is with 2 feet they had to cut off.
    And I agree wholeheartedly that Christmas memories are the best. The first Christmas after adopting our younger two children, we were stuck with two homes to pay mortgages on due to the housing market fall, with less income. I spent less than $300 (compared to more than that for one child) on all four kids and stretched it with strategic clearance shopping. After opening presents, my oldest son (10 at the time) proclaimed it the best Christmas ever! Sorry this was so long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Never apologize for length Madam Skinny, it always makes the piece more interesting. 17 feet…oh my…the Wilt Chamberlain of trees.
      Takes so little to please someone, especially a kid who now has a warm, wonderful home. Sweet story Skinny 🙂


  4. Elle Knowles says:

    I love hunting for gifts for the stockings. You can cram some nice little gifts into the toe of a stocking Susannah. And you are right about the giving. The best part of Christmas is giving. ~Elle


  5. Lynn says:

    It’s funny Susannah, if you asked me about gifts I rec’d over the years at Christmas, there are very few I could recall. Maybe a favourite doll I once received as a child. On the other hand, if asked my about funny moments, traditions we had or epic fails, I could fill a page with those memories. To me, they are the gifts, good or bad, they are our stories.


  6. LauraBelle says:

    I always loved the gift and stocking giving. I still make stockings for my adult children. I don’t know if I will ever stop doing that. I still make them Easter baskets too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your mother was a woman of many sides. Her Christmas side sounds like one of the good ones!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, Christmas…I remember much about my childhood Christmases. Mostly, good memories. I do remember one year that Dad, overcome by some feeling, brought home a tree that, not only had to have several feet cut from the top, but, once it did, it was a ball, nearly as round as it was tall – and we had 10-11 feet ceilings. It was weird, but it looked beautiful once decorated and presents sent below.


  9. micklively says:

    We love a tree too but we’re convinced Lola will eat it, so we’ve not bothered this year. The tradition of giving gifts is a good one. If you could manage joy to the world, that would be great.


    • Wish I could hear it. Took my friend Pam to see the tree at the Metropolitan Museum, a real beauty, the tree too, and when they started the carols it sounded like cars screeching. One of my followers sent me a little stainless tree with tiny ornaments to put on it. Between that and your car, I was extremely touched.


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