Friday, December 23, 2011
I have a tree
My friends have been very good friends to me. Before Chuck and I had children and moved into my childhood home in Mulletville Lite, my father lived here. He did not decorate for the holidays, even though he held Christmas Eve here.
The one decoration that hung was a felt elf that covered a whole in the wall he hadn't plastered over. It hung all year long.
Every December I begged my friends to join me on a tree cutting excursion for my father, the quintessential bachelor. In my mind, I did it for him (wouldn't a decorated Christmas tree make the house feel more like a home?).
To enlist their aid, I bribed my friends with alcohol and food. Mostly alcohol. And they came.
They drove all the way to Mulletville Lite, helped us pick out a tree—often trekking through snow-covered farms as the sun went down—then came back to the house to untangle lights, locate the ornaments in the basement, de-rust the tree stand, and finally (!) to decorate tree.
The ornaments were the half my father got in my parents' divorce settlement. It always struck me as odd that they divvied up the ornaments. Then again, ornaments were always a contentious issue, particularly their placement on the tree.
As I sit here this afternoon looking at our tree, I can't help but be thankful for my friends. Year after year they helped me erect a beautiful tree, which brought me a sense of happiness and completeness.
I'm also thankful for moving back into this house, and for my own family's tree, which is now decorated with new ornaments.
For a long time, sad memories were a constant in this house. The tree went up, and as happy as that was, the tree was still tethered to the past. It was the tree of my childhood.
I am thankful for new beginnings and the chance to heal this home. I am grateful for my little family.
I don't want anything for Christmas. I have everything I need.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. See you next week.
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