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.
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.