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The Christmas Tree

By awoods Nov 09, 2008 1182 Words
Christmas was one of the most festival times of the year for me. It provides a reason for my family to reconnect and the Christmas tree is a symbol of the bond that we all shared because we always put it together and decorate it as a family. This is something that we have done as a family for as long as I can remember and this will remain a family tradition as long as I live. We also had a traditional family breakfast that my mom and Tainisha, my sister, cook while my dad watched the Channel 5 news and Marques, my brother, and I play chess. My dad, brother and I would get the Christmas tree down from the old and dark attic, which smells of old wood after rain, every fourteenth of December. Why we choose this day I will never know but I guess it’s because fourteen is a lucky number. With the tree we get down the boxes which contain the ornaments and lights. With those come the reef which is held in and old box which was for a baby walker. Then we would get down the Santa Clause and last of all came the star. After we had everything down we would relax until my mom and sister were through with breakfast. For breakfast we had; scrambled eggs with cheese, crispy bacon, sausage links, hash browns, butter biscuits that melted in your mouth, sweet honey baked ham, white rice with butter and sugar, pancakes with blue berries in them, cream of wheat, toast, sweet tea, milk, coffee, hot coco, and eggnog. It would take hours to make all of this but it was well worth the wait. My dad always said the blessing and then my mom would make our plates. I always got mine first because I was the youngest, then my sister, brother, dad and finally my mom. We would talk about what we wanted to do later that day and about what we all had been up to all year. After breakfast my brother and I got stuck doing the dishes and putting the food away. We would wait a while before we started on the tree. We had a white tree that was twelve inches and had to be put together in a sequence of steps. First, we put the carpet cover down which was white with red trimming and Santa Clause faces on it and was used to keep anything that fell off of the tree from getting on the carpet because if anything did my mom would freak out. Then we put up the base of the tree then the poll or trunk of the tree which had three parts to it. After the poll was assembled we had to take branches, which were really thick and prickly, for the five layers and pull them apart and place their hooks in the correct place. This could take a very long time but we never cared because my mother would have cookies and candy for us to snack on and we would watch a Christmas Carol, on this old TV that you didn’t have a remote and came with an antenna on top of it, while we worked. After we had the branches of the tree pulled apart we went and placed them in the correct spots we would get out the lights and then the ornaments. The lights were white and it took a while to untangle them when we got them out and we had to check that every light was working properly. But once this was done we wrapped and weaved the lights clock wise in and around the branches of the tree. Then we had to put the ornaments on the tree. This to me has always been the worst part of decorating the tree simply because it was boring work. We had to get out the decoration balls which came in all shapes and sizes, my favorite were the large round blue and red balls, but most were nice and colorful but the worst were the red apples. They were ugly and to make matters worse when they were new they smelled like rotten puke mixed with raw fish. Then we had to put these sliver hooks on all of the balls and be very careful not to break or crack the ball which was a very easy thing to do because they were so fragile. Then we could put them on and I admit that was fun, but after the balls came the ornaments that my brother, sister and I made in school. I had made a picture frame from pop cycle sticks, which to me was better that my brothers little red cloth race car with his name on it in gold letters and way better than my sisters star which was cardboard with gold glitter glued onto it. After that we got to put on the candy canes which were red and white and green and white. Then we put on the little nick-knack ornaments like golden harps, horns, winged boots, reindeer, and bears. The last thing to be put on the tree was the star, which was given to my mother by my aunt Vera just before she died and was one of our most prized possessions. However, our star was not an ordinary star, but a beautiful crystal angel that was trimmed in gold and its wings would change colors like blue, red, gold, purple, and pink as it caught light in different directions. I always got to put the star on the tree which made me feel like the happiest kid alive. I remember when I was a little kid I was watching a Christmas cartoon and I once said that an angel on the show looked like our star, so I named our star Noel after the angel on the cartoon. After the tree was finished we would plug in the lights and step back to see what the tree looked like. I would just sit and look at it because it was so beautiful with all of the blue, red, gold and white balls, candy canes, ice cycles, and the best part was the star. It and it just looked right in our all white living room especially when we had the fire place going. The light that the fire place gave off would make the star shine and depending on where you were sitting you could see an entire rainbow or a blue, red, gold, purple, or pink light flashing off of it. Being able to reconnect with my family was a wonderful thing especially in this day and age. I will never forget the times that we shared and lessons we learned growing up. The fact that we used to get together for Christmas is probably what kept us together as a family all these long years. This applies to my sister more than anyone else because she lives in Texas and could only come back to Tennessee once a year.

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