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WriteOut of Her Mind

by Kelly Waterhouse




Magic tree

I think my Christmas tree is trying to tell me something.

 

It’s just days before Christmas and it has refused to drop its perfect green limbs so we can decorate it. It’s taking its sweet time as if to make a point. And I’m grateful, because at 6am this morning, when I stood there staring at the naked tree thinking about my pre-holiday to-do list and work deadlines, I got the message loud and clear.

The Carpenter bought our Christmas tree last week from the Fergus Kinsmen so we could support their fundraiser for Groves hospital. It was a tree we could feel good about, because we’ve all needed that hospital at some point.

This tree had good karma. But that night was one of the coldest we’ve had all season and so, the tree was frozen.

The Carpenter dragged the tree in and set it up, centered it and the two of us stood back to look at it. It was perfect. Our tree was a full bodied, deep green masterpiece of nature. Ice crystals glistened between the needles. This majestic evergreen was magical too. The cold, fragrant air that clung to it brought with it my Christmas spirit and at once, I felt the nostalgia of Christmases past. With child-like wonder, I hugged the tree. No, really, I did. This tree represented the official start of our holiday season together. Well, it should have.

We called the teenagers from their respective bedrooms to come see the tree. They emerged long enough to express their appreciation, but then disappeared once again to their caves. I couldn’t criticize them because I too had to get back to writing and the Carpenter had a list of chores to do before he headed to bed for his early morning commute.

We put up this lovely tree and then we abandoned it to defrost in the one room intended for us to gather.

As I walked away, it struck me how much Christmas has changed for our family. Gone are the days when we would have spent a whole day with that tree, from the trip to select it to the comedic moments decorating it, together.

Four days later, the tree limbs were slowly starting to lower, but the tree was bare. We were too busy to decorate. Too busy with things that were irrelevant. It’s fair to say we were also under the influence of the holiday blues. So many people we love are dealing with grief or illness or challenges beyond our scope. It’s simply not a happy time for many.

Maybe we feel guilty, like it’s wrong to enjoy our blessings when others struggle. Only I know that every one of those people, those present and those past, would tell us to cherish this time. Somehow, the Carpenter and I have prioritized everything over Christmas as if the holiday was just another thing to do. The kids are just following our lead. The tree wasn’t being stubborn; we were.

So, as I stop writing this to spend time with my family, my Christmas wish for you and yours is that you take the time this holiday season to slow down, to be with people you love and create beautiful memories together. It’s one day. Don’t waste it. Don’t miss the point. And be sure to reach out to those who need to hear from you. Be the joy you want to feel.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Vol 50 Issue 51

 
 

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