Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmases Past and Present

I find that I am living in the past a lot; I know it has to do with my mother's illness this year, as well as the fact that my father is now 88 years-old.  More and more I think about how this life is so transitory.  So, while there are things in my life right now that would be heartbreaking if I stewed there, I dwell on the past a lot....reverting back to my childhood, if even momentarily, comforts.

So, it is not surprising that I have been thinking about Christmases past.  When I was a child in the early to mid-70s, we had a white artificial tree with some (now) antique ornaments as well as ornaments I made.  (My current tree still has those handmade ornaments.)  To me, it was magical--like instant snow.  It was under that tree for a couple of years that two special dolls were born to me.  I still have them boxed in my garage, and they may make an appearance here later this month.  As a child, I didn't get a ton of toys, but what I did get was special.  I spent months pouring over the Sears Wish Book, marking things I would like Santa to bring.  My mother and I made Christmas cookies with cookie cutters, and I had a joyous time frosting them.  Those memories are priceless.  That was such a simpler time. 

Years later, when I was on my own and even after my son was born, we went to a tree farm and cut our tree.  Both in Walterboro and here there was a tree farm within miles of my house.  Then, several years ago, it got to be too much trouble finding a tree that we could get into the stand and have it *stay*.  So, a few years ago I set out to find an artificial tree.  I came across a retro white one in Big Lots, I think.  It is perfect for me.  This year it is just me, so the tree is all that is up.  This season of my life is not my own; I spend each weekend travelling back and forth to my parents' house to visit and help them.  As a result, this year there will be no international Santas, no village....just this retro tree filled with my homemade ornaments and a few special ones throughout the ages.  As long as I can, I will have a tree....that is really all I want.  The older I get, the more I want simplicity and solitude.  That will make my holiday.