And a bah humbug to you, too.
I’m not a big Christmas person. At least not recently. I was when the kids were little. Christmas with kids is exciting! It’s fun to watch the anticipation in their eyes as the day grows nearer and nearer. The fights to be the one to pin the next item on the advent calendar. The eagerness to help make Christmas goodies. The plotting about what families are going to be the recipients of said Christmas goodies. The mayhem and hubbub of putting lights on the house. The laughter as we put decorations on the tree. The grumbling from the kids that my tree had to be color coordinated.
It’s an amazing time of year when there are kids in the house.
With only animals in the house? Meh. Not so much.
Ann sent me this first thing today.
I’ve seen it a thousand time this season and I laugh every time. In past years I shrugged it off because my perfect Jake would never dream of touching the tree. My rambunctious, full of piss and vinegar Mack? Who knows!?
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know the damage that my cats can do to the tree. As comical as it is to everyone else in the world, cats destroying my Christmas tree has ceased being hilarious. *sigh*
So. For the past six years or so since it’s just been Me, Mark, and the Animals, Christmas decorating has been a chore instead of a howling good time. It seems rather pointless. One of my smart (smart ass??) daughters has pointed out on more than one occasion that even though they’re not here the whole Christmas season, they ARE here for Christmas.
Basically I need an attitude adjustment. And I’m working on it. I bought my traditional candy making supplies with the intent to make yummy treats this year. But the tree. I’m having a hard time convincing myself that it’s worth it.
Now, back up a few months. I lost my dad. Some of my dear friends got together to get a card and gift. The gift came in the form of cash so that I could do some sort of memorial for my dad. I knew instantly what that would be.
For as long as I can remember, we went on camping trips with the family for our vacations. As a young girl I can remember getting out of the van once we’d reached our camping spot and Dad would get out of the car, stretch, and take a deep breath of the mountain air. Pine trees! The smell of the pines in the air was intoxicating. I find myself taking that same breath of mountain air every time I make a trip out west. Dad would gather pine cones with me and he’d show me how to get the pine nuts out of the cones. The first time I tasted a pine nut straight out of the cone was in Pine Valley, not far from where Dad grew up. I couldn’t have been more than seven years old, but Dad patiently helped me pick pine nuts out of the pine cones for what seemed like hours, but in all reality was probably only a few minutes since he had a campsite to set up and a gaggle of other kids to pay attention to and teach them….??? What?? I don’t know. For me, it was sappy, sticky pine trees and pine nuts. Weird, the things you remember.
So when my girl friends gave me the card and cash I knew that I needed to plant a pine tree in my yard. Do you know how hard pine trees are to find in mid-Missouri? But now it’s Christmas time. Pine trees are a thing. So my search begins for a living Christmas tree. One that I can plant in my yard once the decorations are gone. One that can stand in memory of a man who was strong and sturdy like the mighty pine.
Maybe once I find my Christmas tree I won’t be so bah humbug like I’ve been the last few years.
Let the search begin.
The search for Christmas Joy.