Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sharing a Cup of Earl Grey with Homer Simpson Santa

On Saturday, I began the March to the Manger.  That is a noble way of saying that I started decorating for Christmas.  I know.  I know.  Thanksgiving is still days away.  I just can't help myself.  Unlike Martha Stewart who has assistants and aides who ask "How high?" when she commands them to jump, I bedazzle our home all by my lonesome.  Not that I mind.  In fact, I rather prefer it. I have created a Christmas Kingdom that only I can recreate every year.  It's like the mysterious Scottish village, Brigadoon.  It appears once every 360-odd days and lasts but a while.  Then, poof!  It's gone.  And, it's magical.

So far, I have fluffed 8 new garlands and carefully wound Christmas lights around each.  My collection of nativity sets is on display in the sunroom.  I have decorated Reed's room and the garlands surrounding his window.  Years ago, he chose snowmen as the them for his tree.  So, the tree and garlands are now thick with icicles, snowflakes, and snow people.  Jonathan's Coca Cola ornaments have been carefully placed in the around the window in the his room.  I'm almost finished with the knee-hugger elf garlands around the window in Bryce's room.  His collection of Old World glass ornaments will dangle from garland around my bedroom window.  The pockets of my apron are filled with floral wire, nails, wire cutters and scissors.  Fake pine needles are carpeting the floor.  

Way back in the day, the boys half-heartedly helped me decorate the "big" Christmas tree.  We began the evening with their one of their favorite meals, "Snack Supper."  Bribing them with brie, goat cheese, a selection of Boar's Head cold-cuts, and a steaming platter of Little Smokie sausages, I tried to make tree decorating a fun, festive family occasion.  Their eyes lit up at the site of the smorgasbord of high dollar snacks.  With Johnny Mathis softly crooning about roasting chestnuts over an open fire, I led them into the living room filling their minds with promises of a chocolate fondue feast later in the evening.  Certain that I had set the stage for a Norman Rockwell-ian, Kodak Momentous, Martha Stewart-esque  occasion, I encouraged the boys to open the boxes of ornaments and commence to beautifying the tree.

Alan and I have been collecting Santa ornaments since we were newlyweds.  We have San Francisco Santas hanging out of tiny cable cars, Santas on skis from Utah, New Mexico and Colorado, high-kicking Radio City Rockets dressed in sparkly Santa costumes, and sun drenched bathing suit clad Santas from Florida.  All of the Santas have the date and place of purchase carefully written in Sharpie on their backsides.  The birth of each boy is commemorated with a special Santa bearing his name and birth date.  Each handpicked ornament evokes a memory of some special time, some special place (not including the "filler" Santas relegated to the back of the tree).

Let's see...let me think.  It might have been the time that Reed lined up 22 red ball ornaments on one limb of the tree.  Or, was it the year that Jonathan dropped the 1979 Norman Rockwell Santa ornament that was given to us as a wedding gift breaking his legs off at the knee?  No, wait...I think that it was the episode in which Bryce violently shook the 1989-Anniversary-Trip-to-Paris tiny snow globe to create a blizzard for the poor little Pierre Noel inside and instead sent it flying across the living room.  Hmmm.  When was it...when was it...oh, I remember!  It was the year that I cracked under the pressure of  all the whining.  "Do we have to put ALL of the ornaments on the tree this year?"  "Can we quit decorating now?  The tree looks good enough as it is."  "My arms are tired."  "Can we watch The Simpsons while we decorate?"  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.   Yes, my sons.  You may stop decorating.  Now and forevermore.

As the token female family member, the sentimental journey of holiday decorating falls squarely upon my shoulders.  Truth be told, I rather prefer traveling alone down Lackey Family Memory Lane.  Carefully, lovingly unwrapping each treasure while watching the Christmas 2010 line up of Hallmark movies ("Moonlight and Mistletoe," "Mrs. Miracle," and "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year") has become my own personal tradition.  My eyes sparkle with tears as I untuck each sentimental Santa from it's tissue paper bed.  I weep as the movie's grumpy grandpa is reunited with his estranged children by some mysterious angelic stranger just as the church bells chime on Christmas Eve.  Pouring myself another cup of Earl Grey and nibbling on Sun Chips, I close my eyes and envision the exact moment in time that the Homer-Simpson-Santa-poking-his-head-out-of-the-middle-of-a-doughnut ornament was purchased in that little Christmas shop one Estes Park, Colorado summer afternoon.  Doh!

Ahhh.  I hear the sweet siren's call of the stacks of plastic tubs of Christmas Past awaiting me and the Magna Cart dolly.  I must go to them.  I must release the treasures that have waited patiently, like the Scottish village, Brigadoon, for the time of year when they magically come to life.  We shall share a cup of Earl Grey in the glow of the Samsung TV in the living room as we watch three orphan boys receive the best Christmas gift they've ever known - a family - on the Hallmark channel.  We are dear, old friends, these treasures and me.  Together we will while away the afternoon reminiscing about the Christmases of little bright eyed boys.  Our shared history is a comfort, indeed.

1 comment:

Anabeth said...

I want to have Christmas at your house.
it sounds heavenly.



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