We have just finished a perfectly delightful Thanksgiving celebration up at Dawn and Ken's home. Cara and Jacob and their 5 kids made the long trip. Robert's nephew Ben and wife Kaylee and their absolutely DARLING daughters came down from Okemos, MI. also. We had so hoped that Jordan and Hillary and kiddies would come too as planned but kids being kids got sick and they couldn't make it. We skyped with them, tho...and Jocelyn. Marissa and family had her inlaws with them. 2 new babies made it impossible for those 2 families to make the trip. But we had a ball. I will blog that event later. But first CHRISTMAS TREES.
I have always loved real Christmas trees. There's something so fragrant and lovely about them. The feel of those long needles. It didn't matter that the cleanup was always horrible. REAL made it all worthwhile. And sadly I made poor Marissa suffer with the live tree even tho I knew she had asthma. Really I just didn't put 2 and 2 together. We didn't usually decorate in November as some people did. But before she left home for good (sadly again..probably the last year she was home) we did buy an artificial, prelit tree. But I have to say that I did ask if she wanted an artificial tree this year despite Hank's need for a real one because I know how miserable she still is with a live tree. She said yes and I got one from Diane Pepin who moved to Oregon and had a lovely 7 footer offered.
Years ago, when we actually opted for an artificial tree I think my mom bought one for herself and then we bought one. I'm trying to remember but somehow I think she actually bought it and lugged it home for us. Our tree didn't stay lit that first year and we took it back and got another one. We used that second all these years. And loved it. It ended up having one whole section that didn't light so I just put an extra strand of lights around that one section. And it worked that way for over 5 years at least. Two years ago I learned about this 'tool' that allowed you to do something with a burnt out light strand, or find where a wire might have broken, of if a light bulb was burnt out. I'm not much of shopper and by the time I'd think to go look for one, they'd be all sold out. Last year I was told again that they really worked and I needed to shop earlier. I'm just not that much of a shopper but this year, while at Home Depot getting the material for the grands' Christmas 'ornament', I saw this thing and bought it.
Today I decided to start decorating since I am hosting part of the RS holiday party on Dec 8. I was so ready to use my new 'gun' and figured I could fix the big heavy branch that was broken. We'd be all set. I sent Robert down to get the tree. No tree. But thinking it was like the gazelle on the savannah (***see below) that he could see but not the thing right in front of his nose, he had me come down and with a flashlight we starting hunting. No tree box. I suggested it was in the attic over the garage. He say, "No Way. I would not have put it up there!" but he went to look anyway. I stayed in the basement and heard his earlier suggestion that maybe we had thrown it out or had given it to the Vietnam Veterans. And I suddenly realized that that was just what we had done. Oh no! No tree for Christmas on the year the ladies at church were coming? Drats!
So I sadly trudged up and went into the garage. Robert is hauling down a Christmas tree box as I am telling him we gave it away. I looked at the box and knew it was not ours because this one had red duct table securing it very tightly. Ours was loosely held together with silver tape. And then it dawned on me..this was my mom's Christmas tree. One that had not been used in over 8 years. Bonpapa had hated putting this big tree up and Aunt Carol and I did it the last 2 years of my mom's life and the remaining 3 of Bonpapa's he was more than content with one of those fiber optic little trees that go 'round and lit up his family room.
Yes, indeed...this was my mom's tree....and once again, she provides for me. I had just asked Robert this morning if he thought my mom ever popped in to see how we are doing (naturally he said we are on Speed Dial for my mom's visits...haha...very funny), or that now i've allowed myself to be mostly natural, if she finally would agree I was old enough to allow my hair color to go natural. I think I got my answer in the form of her tree. Here it is, not trimmed and not fluffed up but you get the idea!
Yes, I was still able to use this fixit 'gun' and got all the lights going. It's sitting lit in the middle of the front room...and I just love going by it, remembering my mom, and the various moments of trees in my life. One tree was so crooked it kept falling over til Daddy threw it through the front door, unopened front door I might add. My grandparents had a pink one. My Aunt Carol gave us a table top tree that was silver but had this light with a color disk that rotated different colors...which never worked but one year I filled it with ribbon woven cardinals which went home with each guest. One tree was very much the Charlie Brown tree but hey, it was Provo...what do you expect as poor college students. One year we put up the live tree on Thanksgiving Day and by the time Christmas arrived the needles were dropping by the second. We opened the gifts at midnight as usual and then after the kids went to bed, I took down the tree and cleaned up the needles. Can you imagine the shock when they awake later to discover the tree totally gone?
But whatever your tree is, enjoy it. Love it. Gather round it and sing, read Luke 2, or 3 Nephi 1. Continue to watch steadfastly for that day when Christ will come AGAIN...and redeem His own.
***a few years ago, having told Robert that men cannot successfully multi-task, he read a book on the topic. Turns out we are hardwired a certain way, we women and men. Women worked around the campfire so we see things clearly up close but send our man down to find a can of something and they cannot. And they cannot because "they" the huntsmen would have to seek for food, looking for a fast-running gazelle on the savannah.