I am a pure lover of all things Christmas. The traditions that have been handed down for generations. The warmth and magic in the air takes the spirit high. I’m not a person for gifts even now that I have a family I still don’t see much purpose in a lot of empty things piled under a gorgeous tree that to me is the biggest gift of all. I’d spend hours decorating a tree lost in the lights, that crisp winter smell from the fluffy bows. Visiting ornaments that are so familiar like old friends they hang holding that year within them, where I was, who was around the tree with who hung those precious balls with and the giggles shared and dreams wished hopes and fears and all the magic that year revealed. The Christmas tree for is a special thing, the keeper and maker of memories, warm feelings, sad feelings things of now and people who are gone, nothing seems to engage so much emotion in so many ways. Captivating.
Every year as a girl picking the perfect tree to hold the years festivities was the greatest day ever! My dad is to thank. Every year we would all get in the car and head into the woods to pick the perfect tree. We all as a family would start the journey all following behind dad like ducklings threw the woods as he inspected each tree. My baby sister would get cold and my cranky sad mother would take her to get warm, I hung strong because just being near dad made me feel special. The snow seemed so deep, the crinkling of the bulky snowsuit like a crickets wings rubbed, nose ran air cold. When dad saw a perfect straight top to the snow covered trees he’d take his axe and bump the tree with a clump like thump the tree dropped its winter wear. Dad would go around the tree over and over looking for holes, no holes allowed. I’d sit in the snow watching closely eating the crunchy earthy snowballs off my mittens, knitted perfect mittens Joan my grams best friend made for us each year. None would do and no matter how long it took dad was on a mission. It seemed to take hours, I’m sure it didn’t just now the robe on snow would drop and there it stood, his eyes would light up his ocean blue eyes like a child again. Around her go as the tree met his check list the excitement I felt from his joy was infectious. “Lots of Sap” dad would say laughing to his own joke he always does. The fat, perfect topped, full, smelly tree with lots of sap was the one. He’d chop that tree down left to right the perfect point. Dads a strong man so pulling a tree miles back to the car was his job yet I’d hold a bow and think I was carrying a ton.
We always tied the tree to the roof as again tradition would be and home we would go to put our tree on display for this lovely day. Dad never decorated his perfect tree that was our job,no questions asked. For that perfect month dad would sit by the tree snacking on mixed nuts cracking away just staring at the tree. That’s the magic. It transports you. He never spoke of his memories but in his light lit eyes I knew they were special and sad too.
This very memory has me even though in a large city driving hours to the country to do exactly this with my wee ones. The same rules apply and sure enough that perfect tree reveals itself. I create the moments that ii cherish, that’s so special. It’s these feelings that matter, the traditions over the gifts.
Christmas is in the heart not under a tree.