I sort of jumped the gun on decorating for Christmas this year. As in, I put up the tree and all the trimmings a month ago, two weeks before Thanksgiving. Don’t judge. This year has been like no other, so it seems to me that anything goes. Anything, in this case, being early, very early, Christmas decorating.
The thing is, coming downstairs in the morning to a house sparkling with tinsel, tree lights, angels and assorted other adornments makes me happy. Trying to stay happy when this pandemic is wreaking havoc and tragedies on our world is a job in itself. Ergo, as I wrote a couple of sentences ago, anything goes.
(Did you notice my use of Ergo – I don’t think I’ve ever used it before. It seems to lend a certain panache to the line. I hope to use it again sometime.)
Christmas time has always seemed magical in our family, going back to my childhood. As I take out the tree ornaments each year, memories come flooding back. There’s Georgie, the angel that perched on our tree all the time I was growing up. My sister, Sheila, at about age four, named her, and I haven’t the foggiest idea what she was thinking.
Georgie now sits on our mantle since she is too fragile to be on the tree. Bing and I purchased our own angel the first year we were married and she still sits prettily on our treetop. We never got around to naming her, but I don’t think she minds. What she does mind, I suspect, is the number of times I’ve dropped her over the years, causing her wig to fall off. She isn’t quite so pretty bald. I always glue it back on before anyone sees her.
This year when placing the beautiful Madonna and Child on our piano, I dropped baby Jesus and broke his arm in two places. I told him I was sorry and quickly brought out the Elmer’s Glue to heal his fractures. If you stay with me and read this whole column, at the end I’ll show you two pictures: one of the babe with his arm in pieces and the other of him back in his mother’s arms, whole again. If you never knew Bing, he’s the guy looking over Mary’s shoulder.
Many of the ornaments on our tree are a little the worse for wear. Like the paper handprint Amy made at age five with her name printed illegibly on the back. It’s illegible, but her dad and I could decipher it. There are other made-by-little-hands offerings labored over by Heather, Erin, Meg, and Wade – none is very pretty (artistic genes are nonexistent in our family), but, of course, Bing and I have always treasured them.
Some of the ornaments, like the Madonna and Child, are from my Grandmother Kelly’s house in Emmetsburg, some from Bing’s family, and some that just seemed to have appeared over the years, origin forgotten, but still loved.
Now, if you have stayed with me through this whole meandering trip down memory lane, here are the pictures I promised. Along with my wishes for a Merry Christmas to all.
Happy holidays to you all.
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