FOLLOWER Friday: The Christmas Tree

Family Christmas tree memories with  Tammy Lewis 
My mom always used to say that she enjoyed the Christmas tree best after Christmas was over.  Every year, for a few weeks after Christmas ended, my mom would come home from the store with a new batch of ornaments.  Rather than put them aside for the following season, she would unpack them and hang them immediately on our tree.
christmas tree
I remember watching her rearrange Christmas ornaments, balancing the lot just right until she was satisfied.  Her trees were artwork, and she was at her happiest crafting and dressing her trees.  She always smiled and whistled Christmas carols as she went about her work.  I asked her why she enjoyed the Christmas tree better after the holidays were over.  She observed that after the rush of the season, after all the presents were unwrapped, after all the guests left and all the cooking and cleaning were over, she could finally manage the time to just sit and admire the tree.
In many ways, I have followed in my mother’s footsteps.  Not surprisingly, I share her love for Christmas, and find myself sitting quietly and admiring the tree long after Christmas is over.  I realize I may be alone in my post-holiday appreciation of a decorated tree, but ultimately, I must permit myself to do it. 
There is often no rhyme or reason why we do or enjoy things just a little differently than other people.  Happiness is not one event but countless and otherwise ordinary moments in our life – each one unique among a sea of individuals.  I am unabashed in my love of wintry and rainy weather, and do not await the return of the sun as I feel content at the sight of raindrops on the window.  Listening to music is an activity I enjoy as much as any other, but I enjoy it solely while driving my car.
Other people may enjoy their cache of music while exercising or working at their computers, activities that I prefer to do in silence.  And further, reading – a verifiable passion rather than just a hobby for me – I take pleasure only while it is late at night, curled up in my bed, and with my dog snoring contentedly at my feet.  I never feel inclined to read during the day, on the porch, on the couch, at a café or anywhere else.  
Sometimes, I am unsure if to admit my very slight eccentricities as I want to “blend” in with a crowd, but each of us has something subtly unique that brings us small pleasures for each person is patterned as distinctively as a snowflake in a sky of flurries.  Therefore, we should embrace ourselves and carry on, even if it is just adding decorations to the Christmas tree after the start of a new year.

photo by tammy lewis

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9 Responses to FOLLOWER Friday: The Christmas Tree

  1. I always thought our Christmas Tree, no matter how beautiful I thought it was, always looked extra/extra/extra beautiful on late Christmas Eve. The branches had "dropped" so perfectly and the tinsel (yes, I still put tinsel on the tree and our lights are the larger ones like I grew up with)would just flutter so adding motion to the tree. Loved your story. Sherry

  2. A Runner's Mind

    Love these sentiments! "Free to be you and me…." Embracing our uniqueness, quirkiness, whatever you want to call it. Makes life better!
    Thanks for the blog! -Jenny

  3. Malati Shinazy

    I unexpectedly had to be away before and after Christmas. I originally put the tree lights on a timer… What a delightful surprise to drive up my street on January 11 and see my Lights still sparking thru the living room window. I loved it.– ms

  4. Shinazy Shinazy

    Sherry, We used the big lights, too and angel hair. Who would ever think spun glass could look so lovely.

  5. Shinazy Shinazy

    Jenny, You are most welcome. Us babes (you, Sandy, Bobbi, & me) that walk on the third Thursday of the month, in the rain, sleek, or – ok, no snow, understand quirkiness. When folks see us walking at night, we look like Christmas Trees with all our reflective gear.

  6. Sweet and honest. Be who you are and not with the everyday flow. I likewise informed my mother in law. lets keep the tree and lights up until early March.You never Know it might snow late in Dixie Land.:). Bill

  7. Love the article, for it brought me back to that moment of where time seemed to stop for a moment and we just simply enjoyed something as it should be. No rhyme, nor reason, just because. Life is meant to be savored, not rushed to the point of a blur. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thanks for reading and sharing. I think your statement sums it all up for me, "Life is meant to be savored, not rushed to the point of a blur." Taking down the decorations before New Year's just seems lonely.

  9. It's been a mild winter so far, but let's hope for a real chill and snow soon before summer!