This is not my Christmas tree, but I like it. It lives in a friend’s home, where I attended a party last Saturday night. This photo, and a conversation I had with my Mom just a short while ago, conjured up memories of a magical Christmas several years ago. I was a newly single mother with an infant and very little money. Times were very difficult for me not only financially, but emotionally, as well. At that time, I worked the swing shift at the hospital, and one night I came home to a decorated Christmas tree in my living room. Talk about a shock; the light switch nearest the front door also activated the Christmas tree lights, so it was the first thing I saw when I entered my apartment. I was so touched and overwhelmed, I wept. How? Who? Why? At that time, I did not know, I only saw a miracle. A Christmas miracle. No, I’m not being cheesy. I later found out it was my family’s doing, and I was humbled by it. I used that tree and the decorations year after year (even though it showed some wear and tear from a small child who shall remain nameless…), until I met and fell in love with a Jewish man who didn’t go for all the commercialism of the season, and especially not fake Christmas trees. That made me very sad, but at some point, as I was moving to a new apartment from that apartment to a new one with my new partner, the tree came out of storage, and caught the attention of a neighbor who did not have a tree. You see, as we were moving things out, some neighbors came by to see if they could help themselves to anything we no longer needed and didn’t want to move. The Christmas tree found a new home with that neighbor who didn’t have a tree. I was sad to see it go, but I didn’t know if I would be using it again, and it felt good to pass it on to someone who was also experiencing difficult times. In the spirit of Christmas, giving to others feels good. Even if it’s not Christmas at that moment.
P.s. No matter what religion you are, you can have a Christmas tree. They’re pretty, and when they’re real they smell good. Don’t ever let anyone prevent you from having one, if you want it!
Retro '70s space odyssey. Came from the Disney Store. I actually like it.
One thing I find funny about Christmas is the decoration frenzy that goes into play right after Thanksgiving. Some people cannot wait to shove some little Christmas chachki into every nook and cranny around them, and little Christmas trees sprout up everywhere. I usually don’t pay much attention, but for some reason, this year I have noticed how silly they can be. Don’t get me wrong; the idea is nice, and being in the spirit makes any
This one is trying way too hard. It's a Martha Stewart brand from K-mart.
atmosphere so much the better, but some trees are so tacky it’s actually funny to me. Here are some I have found around my workplace:
Tinsel with a cheese factor of 9 (on a scale of 10). Came from Walmart.
What is Christmas like in California? This is what it’s like….
a bounty of citrus
Citrus, freshly picked from a friend’s tree. Granted, we won’t possibly be able to use all this, so some will be put into smaller baskets and given to family and friends. Yum! And snow on the ground? We have leaves on the ground. Cloudy skies, foggy mornings, not an ounce of snow, but fresh, delicious citrus, like above, persimmons, and walnuts. These bring good memories of being a child and seeing my parents receive grocery bags full of nuts and citrus from my grandparents farm. Sadly, I took that for granted, and now it is no longer.
I’m sure Christmas is a little different everywhere you go, but I was thinking how unique it is here, and how unChristmaslike it must be for someone from the east, for example, who gets Christmases like on the Hallmark cards, with snow and frozen lakes, and fir trees with decorations everywhere. Well, at least we’re not in Australia having a summery Christmas (!!?), which I’m sure is very natural to them. Here’s to Christmases everywhere!
Next post coming up: cheesy, fake Christmas trees.
I am actually feeling the spirit of the season. The decorations around the hospital and at home are no longer superfluous fluff, they actually have a magical sparkle to them that I see from within me, and it’s a great feeling. I am loving Christmas right now!