She hankers for it as thoroughly as any kid hankers for presents on Christmas morning.
She yearns for it as completely as we yearn for her poppy-seed cake, madeleines, and chocolate-chip cookies this time of year.
To Mrs. P, Christmas is not Christmas without a tree.
She wants to satisfy her tree-lust as soon as possible, and she wants to keep filling that hunger as long as possible, keeping the tree up well after Three Kings’ Day if that year’s version cooperates by staying fresh.
And she is absolutely right—because the green tree brings growth and aliveness into the dead of winter.
She is right because the aromatic tree carries fresh pine or fir or spruce freshness into the house, linking us to the outside world at a time when we feel shut in.
She is right because the tree decorated with lights brings color and brightness into the room, even in the dark of a late December night.
She is right because the tree embodies our lives—our disparate beginnings begun so long ago and so far apart, our long and loving journey together, and the two blessings who have helped make that journey a delight.
We decorate the tree with an assortment of bulbs, figurines, and objects collected over the years, some from my childhood
and some that had been her Folks’.
We have handmade decorations, some of which show the less-sure hands of young children
and others of which reveal the patient and attentive love of a mother.
Courtesy of an aunt who knows the importance of family, we have reminders of our childhoods.
Thanks to a niece who understands the magic of the tree, we hang ornaments from an exotic land.
We have ornaments recently acquired, elegant and glittery,
or simply proclaiming the message underlying the season.
As a child, I was always interested in what I might find in the multi-colored packages under the tree, thinking of what fun they promised for the future.
Now I love the multi-colored memories that adorn the tree, mindful of how they speak of a treasured past and a loving present.
Words and pictures © 2009 AtHome Pilgrim.
All Rights Reserved.