I sit and think of years ago and how my Mother spent days decorating the house and Christmas tree. She always did it by herself…as my Dad worked as a route manager for a dairy and had weird hours. From the time I can remember, we dragged the tree into the house, set it up in an old red and green stand, added water and sugar to the basin and began decorating it. We might simply string lights on it that day and constantly pick and prod…moving lights here and there for a day or so before adding the other decorations.
My Grandmother lived next to us and when my Grandfather was alive, they decorated their tree so cool each year. They had all the old, old, clear glass decorations with glitter and hand painted designs on them. They were definitely from the depression days when few people could afford them. My Pap was a hard worker in the steel mill, but made even better money being a bootlegger during the prohibition years. When you supply all the booze for local politicians, the sheriff, all the lawyers and the Judge, you could do no wrong…and you could hardly be caught. Amazingly, when the revenuers were coming to try to catch my Grandfather, he would always know and there was never much in the house or basement that they could find. My Mom and her sisters would place flasks of booze under flagstones in the basement floor before they arrived and the revenuers would stand right on top of the booze and declare that they knew there was contraband in the area and would demand the girls and my Grandmother tell them where it was. My Grandfather and my Uncle would carry crates of bottles into the mountains and hide them in a cave said to hold rattlesnakes and copperheads. I wonder who put the sign to “Beware of snakes” on a tree near the entrance. No revenuers would ever brave the possibility of being snake bitten to find a few bottles of booze and the locals always laughed at them openly.
Anyway, from the time I can remember, we would decorate the tree and house…just me and my Mom, until my little brother was old enough to help. That changed things a little, but not much. The one thing you can always count on is change. Change will always continue to change the change you are trying to get used to! Sometime change is good and sometimes change can cause you to lose sight of what life is all about. After my Mom passed, Christmas was never the same. It was definitely her holiday and it became my special time of the year through her. I know you all know where I’m coming from, as you all reminisce about your childhood and Christmas past…along with family that have passed.
It finally occurred to me that for seven years, I was doing to Vick, what my Dad did to my Mom her entire life…let her hold and cherish Christmas all by herself after her Mom and Dad passed. This year, it will be different, I will still decorate a tree for my Mom, which I have done since she passed…putting it on her grave until we moved over three hundred miles away…so now both Vick and I decorate it for her here. All my old Christmas memories are just those… they are memories. They are good memories that I need to keep in my heart now and bring Christmas alive again with Vick to create our own memories of Christmas together, for one day…they will be all one of us have to cling to until we are reunited on the other side.
Memories are made…they don’t just happen. I need to get busy… Happy Thanksgiving for now…
Below are a few pictures of Adams’ in Kingston, where we bought a few items and some goodies as we went Christmas shopping over the weekend.
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