Yesterday morning I put my on “big girl panties” and dragged down all the Christmas decorations from the garage attic.
The second Christmas after Rick and I married we were in Michigan, living in our first home together. He was working and I had not yet found a new job – and we were just a few miles from a topnotch mall. I decided our tree would be mostly golds and whites and at the mall I found dozens of beautiful ornaments for our live-cut tree. As we traveled to various countries and regions over the years, I looked for commemorative ornaments to personalize our Christmas trees. Once we began to spend most holidays with my parents and then just with my father, we bought a large artificial tree which dwarfed our living room.
That big artificial tree followed us to Florida. Here’s a tip for people moving to Florida – no one, not even a thrift shop proprietor, wants a used artificial Christmas tree! We tried three nonprofits before we gave up and trashed the thing.
The last Christmas Rick was alive, in 2015, I bought one of the very skinny artificial trees that is only about 2-feet in diameter. It is bizarre looking, even covered with ornaments, but easy to navigate as it takes up such little space. I didn’t worry about all the holiday decorations not used that year, and last year I was too bereft to decorate — so this time I went through every box and tossed unused items. As I was on a roll, the tree is now up and perhaps today I’ll set out my grandmother’s crèche set. No one is due at my house until after Thanksgiving, so we’ll just keep my early decorating a secret, all right?
Last night I cried. This morning I cried. If Rick was still here my world would be full of gleaming gold; now it is streaked with silver threads of age and loss.