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a Christmas tree & winter songs

December 18, 2012
Christmas Tree

Alright, well, the tree is up. Sigh. It looks homely, but it is up.

006 A Christmas Tree

I put on my garden gloves, fluffed every flattened branch on my eight-year-old artificial blue spruce, and strung half the amount of lights that I usually do because I was too lazy to run out to the store on my Sunday evening at home to buy more. Before the task at hand was even half done, I granted myself permission to just let it go. The whole darn thing. The uniformity of bulb placing, the color coordination of garland with the bulbs, the straightening of crooked fake branches, the extra fluff that hides the metal trunk, all if it….none of it matters anyway. Not this Christmas, or any other for that matter.

On another note, I hit 30 and my equilibrium has completely gone to pot. I really cannot comprehend this phenomenon, but this I know: the physical disposition I once had to swing at the park or circle a Christmas tree to lace it with lights and ribbon, is completely gone.

Containers of plastic, colorful bulbs I relinquished to my middle daughters to hook wherever their refined decorative eye saw fit, with the only direction being not to hang too many at the bottom where Sephina baby could pull them off. They heeded my advise without taking any chances, and refrained from placing ANY bulbs on the lower half of the tree. So my lower half is naked. Well, not my lower half, but the lower half of my tree. Whew!

Within two hours, my five-pound pouch hit spaz-thirty and bucked like a bronco under the tree, conveniently knocking off all of the lowest level branches, which are completely unreachable should a person want to reattach them to the lovely fake metal trunk (I didn’t). Perfect. It was as good as putting the star on the tree. A nice final touch. Almost.

In the storage room, I rummaged through my organized tubs until I found it. A two-and-a-half foot long strand of garland made up of random beads, buttons, and other “teensy tinsy” paraphernalia that my oldest three daughters strung together and be-gifted us the Christmas before they moved in. It isn’t even long enough to wrap around the narrowest part of the tree, but the thought of those tiny fingers doing such heart-felt work to string this particular strand of garland for their soon-to-be parents makes it mandatory decoration.

003 A Christmas Tree

001 A Christmas Tree

Alas, I count the blessing of being surrounded by all of my family this holiday season, save but one. I miss her treacherously in moments like these. Too sacred to store with the other tree ornaments in plastic tubs, I fumbled through my top desk drawer until I felt the black velvet bag that enclosed it. I pulled at the draw string to widen the mouth of the bag, then slipped the contents into the palm of my hand. A silver frame, engraved with her name. Fiona. I pulled the glass to my lips and kissed her photograph gently, then wiped the smudge with my thumb. I slipped my finger into the red ribbon by which it hangs and strategically placed it at my eye level. There. Done.

The tree didn’t matter. Not really. The profound significance of one solitary birth that changed the course of eternity itself was all I could think about. Today I am grateful and left standing in awe of what makes this time of year truly magical.

Here is a list of some wintery Christmas songs I have put on repeat this season:

Carol of the Bells by John Williams
It’s Christmas by Victoria Vox
Dance of the Mirlitons performed by The National Philharmonic   Orchestra
Angels We Have Heard on High by Maeve
White Horse by Over the Rhine, Snow Angels
Silver Bells by He & She
Winter Song by Sarah Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
Carol of the Bells by Dana Cunningham

Thought I would share them with you. Some classics and some fresh material that is worth adding to your playlist.

Merry Christmas,
Missy Magpie

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