We’ve had our tree up since November 24th. Yes, that is a long time to expect a tree to keep sucking water, and I believe ours has reached peak saturation. And it’s not even Christmas! But it has been an immense pleasure to gaze every evening at the myriad of baubles that grace its branches.
Early December always holds a sense of wonder. It is the beginning of ornaments and decorations festooned around the neighborhood; a house, with only a single string of white lights; another, replete with the ubiquitous reindeer and a Santa waving at the door. Still others opt for gaudiness, the entire residence glowing in a nocturnal blaze of holiday blinking lights.
The season never fails to elicit a slight discomfort, though. Perhaps it is because Christmas is all about kids, and luckily we have two wonderful boys to lavish gifts upon. Nothing extravagant, mind you, but a modest pile of presents that will, hopefully, garner at least a semblance of a smile.
That sense of discomfort or, more aptly put, melancholy can, at times, be pervasive. Why? Because we are not children any more. I remember vividly the sheer excitement of the season, of the Eternal wait, just waiting for Christmas Eve, knowing that the next day was special and filled with wonder. I doubt I slept at all as a child of six or seven. Now we are adults, and yet that same sense of wonder still exists, the excitement for the big day. But there is no return. Only the same Christmas songs bring you back to that aura of being a child.
As December marches along, more houses are lit in holiday spirit. Now, practically all houses in our neighborhood harbor at least a string of lights. Some hang only a simple yet calming string of muted blue lights, the perfect accompaniment to a December dusk.
In our house every room has ornaments, even the bathroom. Along with putting up the tree, it remains a wonder lugging up the bins of decorations and see what treasures are within. The bins are simply labeled ‘Xmas Ornaments’, so it is always that sense of excitement when we unravel the tissue paper and reveal what resides within.
Before bed, we turn off the TV and marvel at the tree, looking at each sparkling ornament, the lights illuminating some deeply recessed. Candles flicker and add to the atmosphere of comfort and calm, and we are indeed very lucky to witness such beauty.
I wish everyone out there a most comforting, calm, and joyful holiday season and may the new year be a harbinger of all things beautiful.