Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Last Christmas Tree

It hit me in early December that this was to be the last full Christmas season that my son would have with us. After he starts college, he will be coming home on breaks, but it won’t be the same. For one thing, we don’t want to put up a huge tree display anymore. So this year, we spent an unusually amount of deference to his wishes for Christmas. Many years we put up an artificial tree that we’ve had for a long time. Years where we were away for most of the season, we have done without a tree at all. This year he wanted a real tree, but didn’t want to go to the trouble of stalking a tree out in the woods like some bloggers I know.

We went to BigBoxOfLumber and looked over their rapidly diminishing stock and found a tree that wasn’t too tall, but was still full enough to avoid references to Charlie Brown. My son in a fit of bravado single-handedly carried it through the door and into the loving room, just to make like of my complaints about its weight. Once set up I did the annual checking of the lights and patiently replaced any burned out bulbs. For all the trouble that is, I think buying all new lights every year is the way to go.

We also used this opportunity to do a triage pass through the ornaments. Twenty years of marriage and twelve years with a teacher as a spouse can collect some truly hideous examples. Anything made of pipe cleaners or with magic marker labeling went. Ornaments with a connection to my son went in a separate box to serve as a starter set for if and when he has his own tree.

(click on image for a barely readable version)

The ornaments that made the cut for tree hanging were the ones that either commemorated an event or a place or a special memory. The hardest one to hang was the English Cocker Spaniel that my wife had hand colored to match the markings of our dog. He is watching us from Doggie Heaven this year. An a brighter note, at my son’s insistence, The Defiant made its return to the tree after several years of being vetoed by my wife as too geeky. The concept of a Star Trek ornament itself is nerdy enough, but this one has blinking running lights that plug into the tree lights.

Last night my son, who has been threatening to bake Santa some chocolate chip cookies since he knows those are my least favorite, instead left out egg nog and slices of raw sugar cookie dough. I went down to inspect that the snacks had been placed where Santa could find them. My son yelled down to check on me and I could only reply with a muffled “Mmmmph.” Needless to say, Santa enjoyed his snack. A kid is only a kid once, but Christmas will always bring out the kid in anyone.

Merry Christmas To Family and Friends,
Real and Virtual


Jamy said...

Merry Christmas!

I get a kick out of watching my friends indulge their kids at this time of year. Interesting that it never ends. Glad you are giving your son a great memory.

Read/Think/Live said...

Merry Christmas! I wouldn't have minded sleeping in this morning, and the college-age daughter wasn't going to wake us up. But the big kid I'm married to was up before dawn, making noise and saying things like, "Let's wake her up." We managed to hold him off until 7:00 or so. We had fun opening our presents, and we're baking cookies now, having had our turkey dinner yesterday.

Here's a question for you: How do the square cubes of prepared cookie dough turn into perfectly round and roundly perfect cookies? Alice was very skeptical in advance. She said, "I want ROUND cookies." I convinced her to have faith, and sure enough, they came out round. But I can't explain how.

We'll just call it a Christmas miracle.


P.S. Alice says, in regard to your curiosity about her night on the town: "Mind your own business." Ha!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Merry Christmas! The tree is gorgeous :)

Elizabeth said...

I hope you and your family have a great Christmas!!

Impetua said...

Beautiful tree! I hope you all enjoyed this Christmas together.

Just FYI, I had a ST:Next Generation Enterprise ornament for a number of years. It too plugged in to the tree lights so that its running lights could blink. A friend of mine is a much bigger ST fan than I am so I passed it on a few years back. He was thrilled to have it and I was thrilled to pass it on.

Anonymous said...

aww! great tree! mom and i cut down a tree in her front year that was threatening to uproot a sprinkler head and part of the sidewalk and used that as our xmas tree - it was less than 4 feet high in the stand, but it smelled good and made us feel very environmental. nuttin like a fresh tree! and we did the ornament thing too... mom insisted on putting all the ornaments i made as a wee lass in the front - we have ornaments for my very first xmas - which is no mean feat considering i'm 30+!
she also has this chez rotating hanging santa that plugs into the lights... we laff about it every year.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

It never occurred to me that we will soon be giving our kids "their" ornaments for their own trees soon as well. We're still hanging every hand-crafted piece of artwork from preschool on up.

Hope you all had a great Christmas. I'm guessing us bloggers will be a thin in the comments sections this week while everyone tends to families and holidays.

Anonymous said...

You do not like chocolate chip cookies?

And yet you call yourself an American. Hrmph - "yellojkt"...isn't that..foreign somehow?

We're watching you.