Please join in and show me yours! Put a link in my comments.
Click on first photo to enlarge all.
The tree is finally up and decorated. (My plan to leave it decorated and just wrap it up didn’t work as well as it did last year. I had to rehang most of the ornaments, but at least the lights were up.) The little planter and succulent were a gift from Yolanda. She got it on her Mexico City trip. The vase is just 4 inches high and has an interesting story behind it. I had seen one exactly like it but a foot high in a shop in Sheridan, Wyoming and loved it but knew I could never get it back to Mexico intact. I did, however, take a photo of it which has mysteriously disappeared off my photo library. An amazing coincidence, as I hadn’t shown the photo to Yolanda and had no idea it came from Mexico. It is adorable and is sitting now on my desk. The painting was a birthday gift from my friend Glenda and the flowers were a welcome home gift from my house sitter, Brad.
Click on first photo to increase the size of all and to read captions.
My mother was the hero of Christmas. Decorated waste paper baskets from the church bazaar, that “Skunk” game I’d been begging for, played once and never again, that one last doll when I was eleven, purchased more for her own nostalgia than my need. The tree went up as the orange and brown of Thanksgiving was disposed of, and the jubilation of Christmas stretched on until New Years, when the tree came down.
For my dad, however, the end of Christmas was never quick enough. The tree lights hurt his eyes, he said, but I always wondered if there was more to it than that: some sparsity of the Christmases of his past that had broken its spirit in the heart of a young boy raised on a South Dakota prairie that furnished few rewards, let alone extravagent Christmases, but still expecting more, perhaps, than an orange in the toe of his sock. A pony, maybe, or a stick of hard candy, a jaunty new blue winter stocking cap or simply a mother more given to Christmas than his own busy midwife of a mother, always off to somewhere else.
In our mad months of enthusiasm over tinsel, ornaments resurrected from the attic and the mystery of wrapped boxes, we overlooked the remnants of that little boy’s pain, but some part of each of us, detecting it by some subconscious radar, never gave up trying to heal those hurts of former Christmases with tiny Black Hills Gold tie tacks, new wallets and papier-mâché sculptures meant to prod him from his apathy. It never quite worked, except for that sculpture, ugly in its craziness, laughed and pondered over, then left to age and weather on their unroofed patio until its demise, giving one small hope of reviving a small boy’s wonder over Christmas and the unexpected. His forbearance over the years made him, perhaps, another subtler hero of Christmas, just in his putting up with it.
The prompt words for today are orange, game, hero, jubilation and quick. Here are the links:
Christmas Morning Tradition
Every child in the county
will soon approach their Christmas bounty,
transformed from box-shaker and gaper
into a dervish, tearing paper.
Opening tablets, games and dolls,
jumping ropes and basketballs,
until that ultimate stage is reached—
that final Christmas custom breached.
Each child will have the astounding gall
of querying with, “Is that all?”
The prompt today was “bounty.”