Good Almost-Christmas-Week to you.
I’m feeling more Christmassy leading up to the 25th than I have in some years, and for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on and shan’t try lest I scare off whatever it is. It’s a positive feeling that may have nothing to do with Christmas itself, but it has made me less cranky about the usual panic and trappings of the season. I’ve also eaten a lot of cookies, so that may be it.
Yesterday evening, we decorated our Christmas tree, three of four children and a new boyfriend. The kids went out to a local farm, picked the tree and brought it home, wrapped tight in mesh binding. We stuck the bound tree in the stand and undid the tree corset. The branches sprung out, filling a quarter of the room. This was an anti-Charlie Brown tree if ever there was one.
With our kids getting so big (and the new boyfriend fills some space too), there was barely room for me to get in there to decorate the green monster, so I hung back as they placed the ornaments. The kids laughed at their old homemade creations, including something crafted out of kidney beans, macaroni, sesame seeds and a whole lot of glue. We listened to classic Christmas music without irony and played “remember when” as we finished the tree (which kind of excluded the new boyfriend, come to think of it). It was a warm feeling, but one tinged with a sense that time fleeting, which is probably why we repeat these joyful rituals again and again.
Here’s an audio piece on the idiosyncratic — dare I say twisted — nature of Christmas memories. It’s not new, but that’s the thing about memories: they never get old.