I'll tell you a story if you promise not to laugh at me. On second thought, I'm deleting that request. Laugh all you want to, and then send me your favorite Christmas story. Laughing is good.
In December of 1968, eleven months after I'd gotten married, the days crept forward with no tree, no lights, no bulbs, no tinsel. On Christmas Eve, my husband and I looked at each other and said, "Why hasn't Christmas happened?" We'd both been so used to having the trappings of Christmas appear around us, that it never dawned on either of us that now we were responsible for it.
A rude awakening, as we found out that a holiday requires a fair amount of planning. We rushed out to the tree-sellers, and came home with what was left - a bedraggled little pine that conveniently was missing most of its back side, which meant we had room to walk past it into our tiny dining room. Woolworth's provided (for an exhorbitant $1.29) a huge box of red ornaments and a measly string of white lights. We forgot about a tree stand, and we didn't have a bucket, so we nailed a couple of boards to the bottom of the trunk, and had ourselves a merry little Christmas.
Needless to say, all the needles fell off before December 27th and wedged themselves in the carpet (I hadn't known about the real reason for tree skirts). The next year, I planned a little better, and all the holidays gradually became elaborate decorative affairs. It was a heck of a lot of work. Did I enjoy it? I don't really know. I did it, pulled along by the stream of expectations.
Eighteen years ago, though, I adopted a cat. She was fine with the first Christmas tree she'd ever seen. So was Kreo, the next cat the following year.
Then I moved to Georgia, and Waldo wandered into my garage one day, bleeding and starving. By the next Christmas, Waldo taught the other cats what Christmas trees were REALLY for. The next year, with two more cats in the house, I braced the tree with string attached to cuphooks screwed into the woodwork around the windows. The following year (during which there'd been another couple of cat-rescues) rope replaced the string and sturdy metal eyelets replaced the cuphooks. I must admit that seven cats perched in one tree looked rather festive. Until several branches broke and the tree fell over. Wish I'd had a camera.
The next year I gave up on Christmas trees. December is so much more relaxing now.
BEEattitude for Day # 75:
Blessed are they who enjoy all the seasons without too much fuss.
One thing Fran is grateful for right now:My phone service from Consumer Cellular