Tears flowed, I’m not even sure why, I stare at the huge red bag holding my xmas tree, lying in the middle of my living room floor, my daughter dropped it off days ago. I had been asking for it for weeks, but now it seems I have lost my Christmas spirit and it sits there mocking me. I unzip the double zippers and the smell is really stuffy and stale inside that canvas bag. I hope the smell dissipates, so I leave it for awhile and contemplate my life. When was the last time I put up this tree I wonder? Its been a few years for sure, and I have such mixed feelings about Christmas. I allow myself a good cry and decide to go down memory lane.
I loved this tree when I bought it at Costco all those years ago. It was a little pricey but the pine needles looked real and that was important to me. I needed some realness in a life that seemed so superficial at the time. The kids were grown-up and gone and we weren’t doing xmas at the lake anymore. My life felt empty and my heart just wasn’t in it, maybe that tree would bring back some of the magic. The magic had been waning for several years, same with the marriage. Nothing I did seemed right and having a ‘bah humbug’ partner didn’t make it any easier.
Back to the present and now I think of my Uncle, he died last year and the tears come again, this tree is taking a toll on me. I am allowing myself this leeway or should I say ‘a causeway of tears’, knowing that I will eventually pull myself together. I start to assemble the tree. Christmas hasn’t been the same since the kids left home and even less since I opted for the single life. I haven’t found that special person to open up my heart again, well that’s not totally true. My grandkids have a special place in my heart, having another little one has opened up a whole new world of excitement, hope and possibilities. She is into the magic of xmas and I get to see it again through her eyes.
Growing weary of the melancholy, the tree is now up and looky here, my beautiful beloved tree top Angel is still intact and I feel blessed. She has been with me for so long I can’t even imagine a Christmas without her. This tree is too big for my condo but I wedged it into a corner with the branches not fully down on one side, no matter. I look up and realize once again I can’t reach the tree top, (why am I always surprised by this, I quit growing decades ago, geeze) so I go and get the heavy duty step stool with three steps. Short people cannot live without step stools and short old people now need guard rails on those stools. My brain registers this as a possible invention/business venture as I go in search of something to make my trip up the step stool safer.
As I was taking out the decorations to get to the tree, I came across a Christmas star that lights up and even plays music. I vaguely remember using it for the tree top once, it has a cone shaped heavy-duty spring attached to it. I end up dragging back a high topped dining room chair and position it next to the stool. Ahhhh that is much better and allows me some wiggle room to safely fool around with the top of the tree. Scrunching the top of the tree to make a cone shape for my Angel to fit over was no easy task. I try several times and she keeps toppling over and dangling from the cord, attached to her circle of lights, underneath her angelic crème coloured lace embroidered gown.
I want to say here that I have a lot of patience and maybe even more so, than most. I literally used up every single ounce of it trying to get that increasingly stupid Angel to sit nice on top of that tree. She refused to co-operate and I was shoving her down harder and with less patience each time she toppled over. Whewww… half an hour later that witch was still uncooperative. My last attempt had the lights inside of her starting to malfunction. I eyeballed her hanging there upside down from the cord, with the lights malfunctioning and I was sweating buckets as I blurted out loud.. “may you rot in hell, and stay like that forever!” and I meant it. I was done, I also accepted the fact I had failed miserably and that is probably why I had that back-up xmas star.
Accepting my incompetence and the fact that she could stay dangling upside down like that, took a huge burden off me. Then came what I can only describe as a xmas miracle. I took hold of her and gave her one last plunge onto that tree top, not caring one way or the other if she lived or died. SO BE IT!
I swear to you that she looked at me.. stayed perched in her place, perfectly placed as a matter of fact, as if to say “see, if you quit trying so hard and just trust in yourself you will have that eternal peace you seek “. Well ok, that last part I made up, but damn, its exactly how I felt. I gave up on her and accepted she would hang there over xmas. That last ditch effort was just so she could maybe hang a little better. I did not make this up and as God is my witness, each time I look up at her now my heart is filled with joy. I finished trimming the tree next day and each time I look up at her I am still filled with a magical wonder.
This was obviously just another test for me to accept what life throws my way and quit sweating the small stuff : ) If she doesn’t make it through the holidays and decides to take another dive and just hang out, I’ll accept her as she is and love her anyway.
The end.. or is it?