It is June, so you ask, why is she writing about Christmas stuff? Because she is memory deficient and she a/k/a me, would have to write this now anyway and then save it in her Blog and then probably forget to publish it in December. Besides, Christmas in June is nothing new.
I have made several errors in my life. (Quit laughing, Master’s Daughter) Okay, more than a few. One was having the lack of judgment to be married, for a short time, to a man my daughter’s fondly refer to as Hitler. My mother says he is the only person, on this earth, that she hates and she has to ask forgiveness for that when she gets to the Pearly gates. I say, Hate him, Mom. He deserves it.
Hitler had many horrible traits, which explains why we called him Hitler. Those traits are best left forgotten. He did have a few redeeming traits and one was a love of all things Christmas, including the Christmas tree, which he did not want taken down until the fire department showed up in June and said, “You have to take this fire hazard down.” It was a real tree and you can only water them for so long before they become tinder.
The perfect Christmas dinner, for Hitler, meant that the adults drover around town most of the day on Christmas Eve and picked up everyone’s favorite food from restaurants. With gas prices now, it would be a very expensive dinner. Since, his kids had a “traditional” dinner with his ex, and mine had one the next day at Grandma’s house, it was really a fun thing to do. The kids all loved it and it was their tradition. Which goes to prove that anything can be a tradition. It just needs to suit your lifestyle and family for it to last and be fun.
Christmas holidays have always been a big thing in my life. Mom decorated the perfect tree, I’m really thinking she was the original Martha Stewart, the cards always hung straight and filled the walls (remember when you were a kid and your self-worth was based on how many cards you got? “I got twenty valentines. How many did you get?”) Mom and Dad would work to make the house, inside and out, perfection. There were yard decorations to be hung and lighted, window decorations, indoor decorations and the tree.
One of my fondest memories of my brother was the year he taught me how to wrap a present. David may have had a touch of the Compulsive gene, because you never saw such a job of wrapping in your life. Corners were pressed and creased. I’m sure you could have bounced a quarter off that box. But, he was also artistic and they were beautiful when he was done. He loved Christmas too.
Dad, my brother and I would hunt for the perfect living tree. It seems like there was a lot more snow then, so it was snowing when we went and you could see your breath as you spoke. It went on top of our station wagon and, when we got home, if it wasn’t perfect, dad would work to make it so. Branches were actually added to our tree, if I remember right. I know it had to have the “bad” side to the corner and then dad and David put the lights on, while the mom directed them.
What was I doing while this went on? I was in the kitchen eating a whole box of chocolate covered sugar wafers. At eight, this is not a good thing to do on Christmas eve. You miss decorating the tree because you are heaving into the toilet. You would think this incident might have led to anorexia. Trust me, it didn’t.
Mom may have been the first person in the modern world to use actual toys on the tree. She had all the traditional glass baubles and lights, but she would also hang trinkets. These included fancy dangly earrings, or strings of beads she had made, as well as little stuffed animals and dolls. People would come to our house and marvel at her tree.
While recovering from surgery, in 2007, I relinquished a lot of the traditions that, I am now learning, really robbed the fun of Christmas. I relinquished that little compulsive side of me who had to do the tree just right. I sat on the couch and watched the men decorate the tree. I laughed with them and Christmas was all the more special for the love that went on that tree, that year. It wasn’t nearly done, but the memories are even more rich, and that’s what Christmas is about.