Remember Christmas as a little kid? All of those colored lights, shiny ornaments, and the tinsel? Counting down the days to Christmas was an agony. Wouldn’t it ever get here?
Little by little, Mom would start putting out Christmas decorations in the living room and dining room. The ceramic Noel candleholders and the little angels in red gowns came first. Then the Santa cups, one for each of us. And finally the Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers on the big table.
Even if we had already put Christmas lights on the house, the holiday didn’t officially start until we made a trip to pick out the tree. Endless deliberations over shape and size; and a family vote in case there were multiple contenders.
Decorating the tree was a carefully staged production. We had a special dinner, put on special jammies, and listened to Christmas carols to get everyone in the proper spirit for the big event.
There were special treats when we decorated the tree — Nana’s cookies! She always made 4 or 5 kinds and packed them in huge glass jars with Hershey’s Kisses™ and peppermint candies in between. The silver foil and beautiful red and white swirls meant the holiday was here!
The tree decorating always began with the struggle to fit it into the tree stand, no leaning! Then came the tree lights. Each string hung by Dad in just the right place. The lights had to be evenly spread around the tree, top to bottom. And not too much of the same color in the same place. There was always the odd burned out bulb he had to replace, and those awful clips that held the lights on the branches.
Next came the ornaments. We each had our favorite ones and we wanted them in our favorite spots (which tended to change each year as we grew taller). There were always one or two we fought over — who had the privilege of hanging it this year. Usually Nana decided whose turn it was.
For the final touch, hanging the tinsel. We had to put it on one strand at a time, no clumps!! So tedious when you’re a kid, but all of a sudden you were done. And no matter how much you loved last year’s tree, we always thought this year’s was the best ever.
Slowly but surely, packages would start appearing like magic under the tree; from this family member to that one. Little hints of the big day to come, but never anything from Santa. Of course we shook every box many times. And almost never guessed what was inside.
But most of all, it was the magic spell the Christmas tree cast when you lay down and looked up through the branches. It was the lights reflecting off the shiny glass ornaments, the red and white candies, the fresh green smell, and the glittering tinsel looking like icicles. Everything holding it’s breath waiting for Christmas morning, just like you.
These are the holiday memories that gave rise to Linkydoodles. Enjoy!