Amy Patterson – My Thoughts
I love Christmas. Period. I love what Christmas stands for; I love what Christmas brings; I love how Christmas keeps my family alive, and all the crazier.
My husband* (*name has been omitted for the privacy of the innocent) and I put up our Christmas tree, finally, last Thursday night. And by that, I mean that I put up our Christmas tree while barking orders such as “fluff those branches!”, “fill that hole,” and demanding to know where my cowboy-Santa-riding-a-horse ornament is. The task did get finished, though; much to my satisfaction.
When I was younger, the Christmas tree decorating was a family tradition. The Mom, Dad, and I would go out, complain about the lack of nice trees and the cold, finally settle on a seemingly “decent” tree, and Dad would cut it down.
We’d take it back up to the little tree farm shack where I’d enjoy a free(!) apple cider as the tree farm men shook our tree on the rattler-contraption; presumably to get the critters and dead needles out.
When we arrived back home, sticky and pine-smelling, we’d unload the tree and clumsily set it in the base (no offense to the parents’ handyman skills).
Then began the task of decorating. None of us ever really enjoyed this part, but it had to be done. The Mom would instruct Dad and I where to place our teeny-tiny rocking horses, again, to fill the holes. I always assumed the demanding position of handling the tree-topper. Of course this came with a little assistance from Dad, as even now, my 5’3” frame can’t reach the top of the tree.
The Gillum family would spend the rest of the evening singing angelic-sounding Christmas songs, and watching classic Christmas movies (in our terms, “watching,” meant quoting the movie before the actors had a chance to utter the line). We made cookies, which resulted in some WWIII-esque disaster of sprinkles and colored sugar on The Mom’s counter, to her pleasure. Eventually, we’d all pass out in full-blown Christmas-joy-filled comas.
Sure, there wasn’t any monumental occasion that made my childhood Christmases memorable, but they were mine. These days were always happy and included valuable time with the ones I love the most, and that’s what counts. Start making memories with your family, regardless of who that included (I’m pretty sure dogs can count), and start today.