When people say they aren’t putting up a tree this year, I roll my eyes at their unjolliness and think to myself what humbugs they are. Then, in the season of the holidays, I send my son to the garage to get the dolly so we can load it with the 6 large boxes of Christmas from the attic. We sort through the overwhelming amount of Christmas shit, and I wonder why the hell I kept it; the advent calendar with missing parts, the broken Santa that still looks okay if it’s placed just so, the festive yet empty boxes. We have a beautiful glass and silver crab ornament (because nothing says Christmas like a crab) that I bought one year at Dillard’s. Our family tradition is whoever has been the crabbiest gets to hang the Christmas Crab. I think I might be the Christmas Crab this year. I can’t believe I used Christmas and shit in the same sentence. Twice.
Usually I love pulling out the Christmas boxes. When my kids were young, we bought them an ornament that I wrapped up and let them open as soon as the tree was decorated. It usually had to do with something they did through the year or reflected an activity they were involved in. We also collected ornaments from our vacation destinations. Unveiling each ornament helped us to relive those special family memories. There are also hand-made ornament my kids created, ornaments their teachers made for them, ornaments from my childhood, and from my husband’s childhood. It was an event to decorate the tree and house. We drank hot apple cider and listened to Christmas cd’s while we reminisced about each ornament and Christmases past. It was such a sweet, sweet time.
This year has been different, and I think it’s a glimpse of how our family is getting older and starting to spread those fledgling wings.
It’s my daughter’s second year at university. Last year, she was home at Thanksgiving long enough to help us decorate the tree. This year she was home long enough to eat the turkey, then she was off. She wasn’t even with us when we bought the tree. We bought it on Friday, but didn’t decorate it until Monday night. For some reason, we didn’t finish decorating it. We were all gone Tuesday, so today, Wednesday, I managed to get some decorating done. By myself. There are still three boxes I need to empty. Lee have enough decorations to decorate the house with out touching the tree. And now I understand why some people choose not to put up a tree.