November 19, 2004

Pre-Season Musings

I was asking the Nephew yesterday if they still had a Santa who made appearances at the Base Exchange during the Christmas season, and it got me to thinking about Christmas this year.

Anna is understandably a big fan of Christmas and it's most visible symbol, Santa Clause. From a very early age, she loved the whole Santa thing, and for all but that first encounter with the Bearded One, she has had no problem settling into his lap and whispering her secret wishes into the ears below the edge of the fur-trimmed hat.

I'm afraid this will be the last Santa's Lap year for her, though. She wants to believe so badly, but takes quite an amount of ridicule for it at school and from her older and more worldly 11 yr old cousin Mariah. She has written and re-written her letter to Santa several times over the last month or so, and in almost every one she asks for Pawpaw Jake and all of her fallen pets to come back home from heaven. We've told her this just isn't going to happen, any more than the magical appearance of a Ferret and cage under the tree at Gramma's will happen, but she continues to start each letter that way.

Gramma and Grampa have already started rearranging the front room to accommodate the tree, which has become more eccentric each of the last several years, culminating in the addition of several rather large plush Santas and Snowmen last season. It's nothing if not a festive tree. The kids love it, up to and including the biggest kid, "Grampa." Yes, it was at his instance that the fuzzy toys were added to the tree. They make him happy. Mom just rolls her eyes and shakes her head and smiles at him. I guess after 48 years of being married, she has the right to roll her eyes at him.

I suppose I'll have to break down and dig out the little white tree with the fiber optic twinkles, and load it down with shimmer and shine some day next week. It sits nicely on the coffee table or atop the old, antique RCA Victor stereo in the tall mahogany cabinet. I might even dig a string of those Icicle lights out of the basement and find a way to hang it over the curtain rod in the living room to frame the little tree and give the room a glow.

Decorating for Christmas was never something I really enjoyed doing because eventually you are forced to reverse the process, but I do love both making little holiday gee-gaws and having the decorations up and lit. I can't tell you the number of trees I have decorated with specific color or a particular look, then put them in boxes and maybe not use that particular tree for a couple of years. I have one now, naked and waiting, that is really only half a tree for hanging on the wall. I just haven't decided exactly how I want it to look yet.

I have until Thanksgiving to decide exactly what I want to do. Somehow, it just seems right to put up the tree on the Friday after the Feast of Outrageous Consumption. To be marginally woozy from left-over turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet concord wine, and climbing up on the step stool to retrieve boxes of ornaments and lights seems to be the perfect way to spend that Friday. It's much better than dealing with crowds at the malls and big-box outlets.

Posted by Mamamontezz at November 19, 2004 10:32 PM
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