Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The tree is up, and lit, and festooned with decorations collected over a quarter of a century. I well remember our first small tree in Lynchburg, Va. There were only about 10 ornaments, all wedding gifts from my sister, Deb. We strung miles of popcorn and cranberries to decorate the bare branches. I can still remember the scent of the corn and the sting of the needle as I repeatedly stabbed myself during the stringing process. Imagine our dismay when Drummer, our naughty Cocker Spaniel, ate every bit of popcorn he could reach. The tree looked mighty sad with saliva soaked thread and squished cranberries draping the branches. This years tree is big, bright and shiney. Each year I say, "It's the prettiest ever!"... and the multitudes of decorations are a culmination of all the years of Christmases past. The collection of brilliant ornaments cannot outshine the collection of memories that surround me when I gaze on this tree and see, in my mind, all the ones that came before it. Trees from my childhood, our newlywed years, the years when a baby cooed with glee at all the pretty lights. There is such joy in this symbol of Christmas, and such remembering.

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