Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Perfect Tree

This Christmas season, with the circumstances of my dad's health and my mom's incredible strength, tons of childhood memories just keep flooding back to  me.  I was talking to my mom the other night and we were talking about how he was "before".  We were remembering all the Christmases that we all shared as a family and the time that my dad put the whole tree, yes the entire thing intact, into the fireplace.  We held our breath and watched as the fire blazed, one of us kids, I'm sure, with phone in hand  and finger on the last 1 of 911, praying that the fire department wasn't busy responding to another home where the dad had the same great idea as ours.
I remember going out to find the perfect Christmas tree with my dad.  Oh my goodness, what a chore it always turned out to be.  We drove from lot to lot looking for perfection.  Us kids would find one and point it out to our dad, "how about this one, it's beautiful" we would all plead.  "No, that's not quite it".  So our search would continue....and continue.
When we did find the perfect tree, we tied it to the top of the car and took it home in excited anticipation of decorating it.  That was a family affair.  However, Dad was there to direct our every movement with a critical eye. I   remember trying to toss tinsel on the tree a little haphazardly and was gently scolded and shown how to put it on very deliberately.
As an adult and as my children were growing up I saw so much of my dad's traits in me.  Christmas, at least the picking out the tree part of it, was miserable for my children.  I had to find the perfect tree, I knew it was out there somewhere.  Nothing less would do.  And. although, I always thought we found it, when we got it home it more often than not resembled Charlie Browns pathetic little tree.   Perhaps I should have listened when the children showed me their perfect trees, sorry kids!  I did try to be gentle and tolerant when decorating the tree and I'm hoping that they never saw me cringe when they placed two red ornaments too close together.  I bit my tongue and waited patiently until they all were tucked into bed and then I rearranged the offending ornaments. 
I find myself doing some of the same things my dad used to do.  BUT, you will never find the fire department at our home on the day after Christmas responding to a call of a tree burning in the fireplace.

1 comment:

  1. We must be sisters :). I was just reading our book of childhood memories earlier today - and wrote my blog post for tomorrow already about it. Those were good times and we were raised with lots of love - I see that clearer now. Keep writing!!