Yes that’s right, tis the season to decorate like mad and shop till we drop! It’s that time of year when the sweet aroma of fresh baking fills the air and generosity is in the hearts of everyone of us. Right about now we are starting to see twinkle lights in the windows of the houses (or buildings if you’re us!) around and watching as those around us begin to wear more red and green. It is also at this time that a lot of attention comes the way of our dear evergreens. Suddenly this long forgoten tree is noticed and everyone is eyeing their branches and height, making sure it will fit in there living room. Dads walk around with buck saws and eager children follow closely so as not to miss anything.
I can remember as a child following my father out into our back woods where we would go in search for the perfect christmas tree. Of course we would never find it, they always ended up being Charlie Brown trees, but they were perfect in their symbolic nature. Taking 20 minutes to bundle up and barely being able to move was all worth the sound of the hacksaw cutting through the crisp air, and the christmas smell that escaped from the tree. Of course as years went on we discovered the leisure of going to our local mini mart and purchasing an already cut down tree. This was still a sacred event, no matter how hard the decision was! They were all perfect!
Then there was the entire event of hanging the christmas garland on the railing of our front deck. Sabrina (my sister) and I would head out into the woods and start gathering evergreen branches. This involved a hatchet, strong arms, and thick gloves. Once these branches were up it was time to bring the lights out. This was truly a National Lampoons Christmas adventure every year. I don’t remember one year when every light worked! There was always a mix up with what lights went where and how the heck are we going to get the extension cord way over there DAD!! We loved every moment of it!
Every christmas was like the first christmas at my house. My mom would decorate the house as if we were about to be photographed for one of those Country Living christmas editions. There were candles in every window, chrismas baking waiting in the freezer downstairs, and constant string of christmas music floating through the air…morning, noon, and night! Christmas eve would consist of church and then (as of a few years ago) off to Brian and Cheryl Bottens’ for their annual christmas eve party. This was something everyone looked forward to, it was good food, good laughter, and lots of christmas cheer! We would get home late and go to bed with the hopes of sleeping in. Not so, my mother would be awake at 5am running up and down the hallway announcing that Santa had come! Those were the best memories of my life. I looked forward to them every year.
This year as you all know we are both away from our familes. We are heading into this season with a sense of loss, but hope that next christmas will see us back east with our families. I have recently gotten a job offer which I am seriously thinking about taking. It means working 12 hour shifts over the christmas holidays and over the days that David would have off. Welcome to the real world! Our spirit, laughter, and joy will be packaged up and sent home to all of you. Next christmas we’ll package ourselves up and send us home instead.
Last night David and I decided it was time to get off our butts and start making this apartment look like Christmas was actually drawing near. So that is what we did. We erected our fake 4 foot tree, stung our mini lights, hung some christmas bulbs, and strung some red and gold beads. Suddenly our little tree looked magnificent. We hung garland, and candycanes all the while listening to christmas music. As the decorations were running out we decided that now would be the time to watch a christmas movie! It was a perfect night filled with our own traditions and our own memories. As long as Charles Dickens and Bing Crosby stay with us through our days, this christmas will be as good as every other!
We miss you all and hope that this season fills your hearts with good cheer, laughter, and most importantly hope. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Everyone!