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.
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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