16 January 2013

Another Christmas Past

Already two weeks into January, the holidays are definitely over. I'm writing to pack them away for another year.

It's hard to get excited about major Christmas decorating without kids who believe in Santa Claus living in the house anymore, yet I still put up the big monster eight foot tall artificial tree again for just hubby and me. Oldies who refuse to grow up completely, we enjoy the thousand cheerful lights on those long December evenings, and also plug in the tree in the morning to brighten the start of the day for the neighborhood children walking down the lane to the school bus stop.

It's such an emotional time, the holidays. Getting out, and into, the boxes of decorations takes strength. It takes physical strength hauling the tree and a dozen big boxes up from the basement, climbing up and down the ladder to position lights, baubles, and tinsel. Yes, I really put shimmering silver strands on the plastic branches. But, the hardest part is the emotional strength I muster up to delve into the memories of decades of Christmases.

As I open the boxes, handmade ornaments and the hands who made them come to mind. Vignettes of my life appear. I tear up thinking of our first baby dressed in his little football sleeper and laid under the Christmas tree, our own miracle. Hubby's parents and mine are all gone. Grandparents gone a long time ago. Families are smaller for one reason or another. The year Santa barely got the Sears harvest gold toy refrigerator and stove put together before the kids came galloping down the stairs, and the year he forgot Guns of Navarone playset, which this year sold on eBay for $250.00. Our daughter in her flannel nightgown tearing around the kitchen table in her new clamp-on roller skates. The fresh turkey that smelled like it had been dead a year when I took it out of the bag to cook for dinner. Oh, the fowl was foul that year!

So, as I sit at my computer, hot tea and good music keeping me company, I wrap up the 2012 holidays, stash them in my heart-vault bulging with memories, wish you well, and go back to work on quilts for each of our grown children for Christmas 2013. I have a few blocks done already. The pattern? Tree of Life.

2/20 update: All 32 blocks are done and ready to be joined. Then add borders and off to            
                   longarm quilter to work her magic. Next up? Same quilt, slightly different
                   colors for the leaves.