Tree-mendous Thoughts of Christmas

December 23, 2006

Its very quiet in our home in these early morning hours of the day before Christmas Eve. I love the quiet, particularly at this time of year when our lives are so full and busy. Willi is sleeping in on the first day of a much needed break. The sun is not up quite yet, either. Soon both will signal the start of another day. I remind myself that each day is like no other. It is easy to let them fly by paying little or no attention to their relevance. This morning I promise myself to look for the joy in the little things.

Willi’s mom has flown in from Texas to join us for the holidays. We are soaking up every bit of her while she is here. Yesterday she made a yummy apple cake while we were both at work. When I came home, the wonderful aroma of fresh baked goodies still hung in the air. I made a note to myself, “It is good to have a mom in the house when you come home from a long day at work.”

My daughter and her husband are sharing their first Christmas. I remember those years when your holidays are not your own. When families lay their claim, wanting all of your precious minutes to be spent with them. When really what you want so much is to hunker in and make memories of your own. I say a little prayer for them as they try to spread a little of themselves amongst us all. And remind myself not to be pinched when my minutes are few; theirs are young and tender and need room to grow.

Thoughts of Christmases past drift in and out, both bitter and sweet. My mother’s dilligent preparation of the thin pastry in which she dropped measured spoonfuls of nut filling to make the mouth-watering Nut Horns we so coveted! The tears my father shed as he sat on the floor of the garage, one of his last Christmases, trying to make the stubborn tree sit straight in the homemade stand, as he had so many times with ease. Shopping with both of them as they selected the “perfect gift” for each other; plaid wool shirts for my dad and Chanel No. 5 for my mom, always the favorites!

I’m thinking about my son. Back in the day, his second grade teacher hosted the usual Christmas party for the students, and moms were invited to join in. After treats were served and the children had performed, we all took some time to enjoy the many examples of student work that had been dutifully posted on the boards and walls. Among them, 8.5 x 11 inch Santas marched around the room in perfect red and white harmony. Mrs. Thompson giggled as she asked me, “Can you guess which one is his?” I began at the first Santa in the row and continued around the room until I found one colored in purple. That was his. I have it tucked away with the Christmas ornaments. He still moves to his own beat. I pray he is healthy and safe.

Willi’s children will be coming in tomorrow night, on Christmas Eve. They are growing so quickly and their lives have become so busy. In various stages of high school and beyond, too soon they will be planning Christmases of their own. He is the bridge of generations for his mom and her grandchildren, bringing them together to make some Christmas memories. They have welcomed me into their fold and for that I am grateful. They fill the chairs around the holiday table with warmth and laughter; and it is good.

Willi and I have made a few traditions of our own in the part of our lives we have spent together. Blending our pasts into our present has been interesting and often times a matter of compromise. Gracing our tree, is the angel I made so many years ago sitting atop his cowboy hat. Each of us clings to the paths we have walked; paths that led us to each other and help us appreciate the differences which make us who we are. And make us good together.

Well, the sun is up and the bustle begins. Willi has made a list of the things we need to accomplish in this day that will be too short. We will feast on apple cake, sip some coffee, and move forward toward the celebration that is over so quickly. As I listen to Willi strum and sing “I’ll Fly Away”, I give thanks. We will have a Merry Christmas. Best wishes for yours to be the same.


19 Responses to “Tree-mendous Thoughts of Christmas”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    That was absolutely beautiful. I’m still searching for my “Willi”. Merry, merry Christmas!

  2. mjd Says:

    Your tree is beautiful. Willi’s cowboy hat and your angel are the perfect crowning touch. Merry Christmas to you and to all of your family, dear friend. I bet the purple Santa was the best one.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Merry Christmas Gawilli! I like your tree.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Hope you guys have a very Merry Christmas!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The holidays can be such a bitterweet time. I hope you and Willi have a very Merry Christmas, and enjoy your MIL.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Mothers are always good to come home to! A lovely post. I enjoyed reading it so much. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  7. debi Says:

    Such a wonderful post.As always you bring a tear to my eye. I love your angel on the cowboy hat.It’s perfect.Coming home to a mom is a treat and a gift. I am falling behind on my posts and I am going to try hard to catch up. Merry Christmas to you and,deb

  8. PJ Librarian Says:

    Wonderfully said sentiments. Hope yours is a very merry Christmas.

  9. Cazzie!!! Says:

    Thankyou so much for the lovely story of your life, and to remind us of taking the time literally as it is in the now when spending time with our they will soon grow and we can make the memories for the future from the now…bless your heart šŸ™‚

  10. Anonymous Says:

    beautiful pics in this blog!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

  11. Maya's Granny Says:

    Have a wonderful Christmas and thank you for sharing your tree with us.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Beautiful post. Merry Christmas and the best for a happy, healthy New Year.

  13. Ch3ll3 Says:

    What beautiful pictures!

    Merry Christmas from Ch3ll3, B, and the pets. šŸ™‚

  14. susan Says:

    Something about all those memories and thoughts interspersed with the photos of your trees made this especially lovely. Thank you for sharing them…

  15. Tink Says:

    My heart clenched at the part where your dad was crying on the floor. Beautifully written post Gawilli. I hope your holiday was happy and safe.

    Oh, and I adore the angel on the cowboy hat!

  16. marnie Says:

    Merry Christmas – a bit late. That was a beautiful post. Sounds like the makings for a wonderful Christmas.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Happy New Year!

  18. Anonymous Says:

    hope you had a great christmas love the tree. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones x

  19. graymama Says:

    I am sitting here crying. I am sorry that I did not have the chance to read this post before my holiday began because I think it would have done me quite a bit of good. I don’t know whether you realize how many lives you touch with the beauty of your posts or not, but I want to thank you for touching mine šŸ™‚

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