Our Christmas tree isnít the fanciest I have ever seen. I have seen trees that spin, play songs, and hang upside down. Our tree is crooked. It is too narrow. The boughs are sparse and cheaply made.
Our Christmas tree isnít the prettiest I have ever seen. I have seen trees festooned with glorious, sparkling ornaments and lights that twinkle so perfectly that it all but takes your breath away. Our tree is quite empty. There are pockets of space in the front and the back has few, if any, ornaments.
Our Christmas tree isnít the tallest I have ever seen. I have seen trees so tall they seem a never-ending fountain of light, percolating dreams and wishes. Our tree is short. At just under 6 feet, I can just stretch high enough to put on the star. The star is too heavy for our cheap, little tree so it frequently topples over and I use physics to keep from toppling to the ground.
No, our tree isnít the fanciest, or prettiest, or tallest I have ever seen. Our tree is crooked, narrow, cheap, bare, and short. Our tree is a really bad blind date.
Until you get to know him.
You see, something happens to our tree after the first couple of ornaments. He begins to speak and suddenly takes on a beautiful glow. He grabs me and tells me a story and after it is over, I canít help but love him. Iím a sucker for a good tale, and he gets me every year.
Our tree recounts the history of two people who, while dating, loved to visit museums. Their first date, in fact, was at LACMA.
She is creative, flighty, and thinks elephants are brilliant.
He is quiet, analytical, and a man of science.
She loves books.
He loves to play golf.
They live in California.
A couple of years go by, and they decide to get married.
They celebrate their first Christmas.
She is getting ready for law school and he is straightening his tie for work when the first plane crashes into the World Trade Center.
They have one son.
Here the story stops, because thatís as far as theyíve gone. Donít you want to hear more? I do.
Each delicate, glass ornament captures a moment in our life. Not every moment is represented in our little tree but, hey, these ornaments donít come cheap. We have time to add them as we can, so the Mr. reminds me.
Itís funny. Of all the ornaments we own, only one did I purchase on a whim. Every other ornament, including those we received as gifts, have a special memory behind it. As Mikey handed me the ornaments, this ďno memoryĒ ornament slipped from his fingers and fell to the ground with a crash. The irony did not escape me. Or, at least it didnít escape me an hour later after I had cooled down. Itís as if the little ornament couldnít handle the guilt of itís own insincerity.
Our tree isnít perfect and doesnít look exactly how I wish it would, but thatís ok. I imagine one day it will be fancy, pretty, tall and perfect. When that happens weíll know we lived a long and full life and our ornaments will soon find new homes sprinkled among the crooked, narrow, cheap, bare, and short trees of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Provided we donít drop any more.