O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, wie gruen ist diner blaeter.
OK then, I am not sure I imparted any booniverse family Christmas Traditions in the last installment so I might cram a bunch in this one. Or maybe, since my list is nine items long and the song has twelve items, I just might leave a seasonal doohickey in place of a tradition here and there. We shall see. In any case today’s topic is the family tree.
Last night, as TheMan and I sat down to dinner amidst the glow of Christmas lights that we had strung up around the book shelf and the CD rack. While the glow of lights gives off a nice happy Christmassy feeling, a book case is a sad substitute for a Christmas tree proper. Even a ficus, which I had gussied all up with lights and bangles every year until it eventually died of shame, is a pale runner up. I haven’t had a good tree since I moved out of the mumses place and now that I am all growed up and about to settle down, I decided that I missed having a tree.
A good tree is a seven foot Norwegian pine that you drag out of a box every year and put together (cleverly alternating branches from two different rows so it looks more real). Then the lights have to be threaded up and down each branch with care being taken that the bulbs don’t overly touch the tree needles. Even to this day, the warm smell of melted plastic reminds me of Christmas. Next, ropy tinsel garland, ornaments and lastly Angie, the burlap covered angel is put on the top of the tree with a white light threaded into her hands. That is a Christmas tree to be proud of.
Over the years the tree has evolved as we grew up. The non destructible satin balls and cartoonish Santa, elves and reindeer characters gave way to fragile glass bells and woven glass bangles while the tree itself went through several seasons of being live with a root ball (different tree each year, folks. Made a nice stand once they were planted in the spring). However, there are still vestigial traces of the tree of my child hood even in this year’s rendition at my mum’s house.
The lights are still woven in and out of the branches to give the tree depth and some ornaments have survived the test of time and tact. On the upper branches close to the top you can find the green glass ball my kindergarten teacher made for me and elsewhere is my sister’s first communion ornament. There is a little bird’s nest for good luck, the gold spinning Hummel like fellas and a quartet of tiny brass instruments. Lastly, if you look near the bottom branches there are 2 wire woven basket ornaments. My mumses wasn’t going to put them up this year but I insisted and went rummaging through the rejects until I had found them and placed them in their accustom spots. The baskets are the last hurrah of Christmas; the one thing that is almost always overlooked until that moment after the presents and after the stockings when you are not quite ready to accept that the day is coming to a close. Suddenly, my sis or I would remember The Baskets and discover one last handful of goodies and maybe a bit of spending cash.
Sadly, time seems to have taken a toll on the traditions of my past. This year my fam, once again, will not all be in the same place at the same time. Somehow things are just not as exciting without my sis there to share in the wonders of “Santa”. TheMan’s fam too is having a slow deterioration of tradition as relatives get older and move into homes or grow up and move away. I’m starting to think it’s about time to hack out our own traditions, maybe take a few from his side and a few from my side and see what we can come up with. I’ll let you know how it goes when we finally have it all figured out. Say in about 10 years?