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Christmas decorations

Christmas is almost upon us. I was relaxing in my “Comfy Chair,” and my wife yelled out; Joel, you promised to get the Christmas decorations up today!” I replied, “I’m on it!” I begrudgingly pulled off my warm throw blanket. They are the new apparel in Michigan that most people wear when sitting on their chairs or couches because the thermostat has to be dialed down so one can have a heating bill that they can pay.

I took a moment to think back to when I was young and could not wait to put up my family’s Christmas decorations. My Dad made me wait until after the Thanksgiving Holiday. I would have loved to have set them up in September! I remember working with my Mom. After I hauled up the boxes of decorations from the basement, we would set up the “Douglas Fir” the only Christmas tree that was real, according to my Dad. As we unboxed each of the old ornaments, my Mom would have a story about where it came from, which side of the family, or where it was purchased. Then she would gleefully tell me what each ornament meant to her. I remember that I felt it slowed down the decorating process. Still, in reflection, it was a beautiful time to have in my memories of Mom.

I remember even starting a tradition; I created a “Christmas Village!”

Our musty basement was just chock full of many old-discarded toys. I found everything I needed, buildings from our train sets, people and animals from many different games we had, and a box full of lights. I used cotton batting for snow on the roofs and was very careful not to let the lights sit on the cotton; the lights in those days did get a little hot.

I placed them all on an old table from the basement, using a white tablecloth; that looked like snow. Everyone loved it. As the years went on, I added an actual Holiday decorated toy building to the collections.

I remember the first Christmas after at my own home. We were just starting out and did not have a lot of discretionary income. We bought a real tree and stand for about $12. That exhausted our decorating fund. Next, we blew the yolks out of 2 dozen eggs and ate omelets for a couple of days. When the eggshells were dried, we spent hours painting them to look like authentic ornaments. The tinsel was a bit pricey, so we took some thread and a needle and strung popcorn around the tree. There were no lights, but it looked like a beautiful tree to us. We still have a few of the egg ornaments to this day; they made it through the years. I used to tell my daughter where they came from and what they meant to me.

The Christmas Spirit filled me up, and in a few hours, our house was decorated. We have a smaller tree, artificial, not a Douglas Fir. I think he loved that tree because my Dads first name was Douglas. The memories of the past years of decorating brought a happy tear to my eyes. Merry Christmas, everyone. Remember the reason for the season!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 12/12/2022 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.”joelmvernier@aol.com

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