"" Writer's Wanderings: In My Lifetime--Christmas

Friday, December 07, 2007

In My Lifetime--Christmas

In a world where things are always changing and progress happens in the blink of an eye, there is one constant that brings most of us all together again--Christmas. The things of Christmas have changed over the years though. Take trees for instance.

Growing up, there was always a live tree. I don't know that artificial was even available in those early years. The bulbs were multi-colored and hot to the touch and silver tinsel was a must. Then came the years of the aluminum tree. The silvered branches changed color as a disc with four basic colors, red, green, purple, and yellow, rotated in front of a spot light that shone on the tree. Mom refused to have one. I'm grateful.

There was one year when she succumbed to the flocking. I don't know how she talked Dad into it because I seem to recall him wrinkling up his nose every time he looked at it. Maybe she sold him on the idea because it was supposed to preserve the tree longer.

Of course the more popular artificial trees became, the more outrageous they got. Pink and purple and white. Each year we passed on the lastest fad and stayed true to the real smell, the real feel, and the real mess of needles to clean up.

Mom gave in to the artificial world when the trees became a little more realistic looking and my brother and I were gone. That way she could get us to come home and put up the tree early. Mom was not above a guilt trip. "I don't think we'll have a tree this year," always brought us home to decorate.

Bob and I started out with real trees. Our first, which was probably the most perfect we had, stretched our budget at $5. This year we had to shop for a new artificial tree since we lost ours in a flood last year. We thought we'd wait until the sales after Christmas and this year get a real tree--until we looked at the prices. A nice tree around here goes for at least $70. We bided our time and found an early sale on artificial. Now there are no fire worries, no needles to clean up, and our decorating is done and ready for the kids to come home.

While out shopping, we saw aluminum trees trying to make a comeback and artificial ones that were flocked. It made me think of all the changes over the years and the one thing that has remained constant. The reason for the season--Jesus.

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