Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Of Trees 'n Things

The day after Thanksgiving we put up our Christmas tree. I finally decided to invest in one of those pre-lit ones. It is so much easier and faster. My son wanted to decorate all by himself. I could hardly contain myself as he put all the little ornaments in a tidy little group in the front. I encouraged him to spread them out and vary them. Watching him was the joy of my day. His eyes danced at the sight of his creation. He raced to the CD player and put on his Christmas CD. What a beautiful thing childlike enthusiasm is--unspoiled by commercialism and greed. At least so far.

Yes, he has asked for every toy he has seen on Saturday morning cartoons. But when asked which ones he really wants, he just shrugs and says, "Whatever Santa brings me." I know it won't always be this way. But it is nice to know Santa still has options, at least this year.

Every year we go through his old toys and sack up the best ones. Not the broken ones. Not the ragged ones. The best ones. And take them to the Salvation Army. I am trying to teach him that there are children less fortunate, and that it is better to give than receive. He sometimes is a bit sad at losing some of his toys. But he always gets to choose which ones. And sometimes he will say, "Mom, I bet those boys are really enjoying my Hulk Hands." Or something like that. And I tell him, "Of course they are. They are taking really good care of them."

In a way I miss the good old days of tromping out to the field to chop down a live tree. The smell cannot be duplicated. There was just something extra special about bringing it in and fighting to get it stabilized. It was worth all the scratches on your arms. I imagine us getting a live tree had more to do with us being broke than anything. But it makes for fond memories at least.

We also made paper snowflakes the day after Thanksgiving to put in the windows. I learned how to make those many years ago. It was fun teaching my little boy how to do it. And I think he has gotten addicted to it. I am still cleaning up little jibbles of paper out of the living room floor. It was a great lesson in how each one is unique and beautiful in its own right. And so are we. So are we.

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