I hadn’t planned to decorate for Christmas this year — I just don’t seem to be able to scrape up any sort of celebratory spirit — but after seeing how a friend who had recently been left alone after the death of her husband still managed to decorate her house with hundreds of ornaments and other Christmas collectibles (Santas, Christmas mice, Christmas teddy bears, votive candle holders) I figured I could put up one little tree.
When I realized the tree was in my garage, and I had to shovel the sidewalk from the house to the garage, that idea quickly evaporated. Even worse, the way I had the contractor make the ramp — right up to the door sill without a step — made the back door impossible to open from the inside when we get a huge amount of snow. Well, it wasn’t actually worse — it just gave me another excuse not to decorate. A couple of days ago, a friend asked me if I put up my tree. I told her my problem, and she volunteered to get it for me. Since she’s always busy, I couldn’t in all fairness let her do it, so yesterday, I spent the morning clearing a path the garage. (Dare I mention that I did it in open-toed shoes? I can’t believe I did that, but truly, I wasn’t out there long enough for my feet to get very cold.)
I still didn’t feel like decorating, but I do like my ornaments. They tell the story of my life.
A nod to my house, of course.
My car, naturally.
A dragon because we all need a dragon to guard and protect.
And several other special ones, such as a gardening spade and hats.
So this morning I decorated the tree and put up a wreath, but, knowing that what goes up must come down, I didn’t do anything beyond the simplest tasks so that cleanup in a couple of weeks will be rather simple.
Still, it’s nice to see treasures that are packed away most of the year, and it’s nice to at least pretend I have a celebratory spirit.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.