Friday, February 9, 2018

8 Minute Memoir, Day 46: Christmas Tree

Somewhere in my childhood home, there exists a home video, recorded on a camcorder that was set up on a tripod on the other side of the room--and in the middle of the frame, my dad, putting our claimed from the tree farm Christmas tree into a tree strand and slowly, meticulously, stringing it with lights.  Also featured in this video, my little brother and I, taking turns sharing the spotlight in front of the camera while my dad got the tree ready for decorating.  My mom, meanwhile, would bring the box of ornaments up from downstairs: delicate, handmade projects from school holiday parties; Hallmark ornaments to commemorate birthdays and anniversaries.

I feel so grateful that as a child, the holidays always held such a particular magic for me.  Even now, thinking about it, I am filled with the utmost nostalgia and warmth.  Every Christmas Eve, we would make the drive to my grandpa's house... pulling up his long driveway and coming inside, everyone's arms filled with presents and food.  A veritable feast, delicious desserts, the exchanging of gifts, the grown ups drinking coffee and having conversations.  Thinking about these Christmas Eves now, at nearly 30, has me near tears because I am overcome with how magical it was to drive to my grandpa's, through the cornfields, the snow, the skies always so clear and filled with glitter... stars twinkling overhead.

And then leaving Grandpa's house and driving home, the car cold and crisp, but warming but before we even got inside...  driving home, coming inside to find the house lit up only by the glow of the Christmas tree, there in the corner of the living room, everything set in an ethereal haze.  My heart beats a little more quickly just thinking about it, how loved and how safe and how lucky I felt.

This is exactly the kind of thing I hope to replicate for my future children because I believe without question that it was an important part of my childhood, the wonder and delight of being a kid, getting my toes wet and learning new things and exploring the world, on the road to becoming an adult.  I want to give them as much sparkle and joy as I felt... I grew up in a technicolor world and I want that and more for them, I want the moon.

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