Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ornamental Chaos

So we're pulling out the Christmas tree ornaments...well, when I say "we" I mean the part of "we" that doesn't include me –currently my wife and my eldest daughter. Not that I'm not into it or too spiritual or something. It's just early - i.e., before noon on a weekend day. Their unpacking seems to lack any organization as they follow paths that I can neither follow nor understand.

And then the memories start to flood in, each with its unique story and history…much of it historical fiction at this point. The thing about memories: most of them connect to emotions, sometimes strong. Not just vanilla emotions, all sorts of different types, styles, flavors, and magnitudes. Most of them good, but not necessary easy. A tapestry of feelings representing decades of past Christmastimes and the years that preceded them.

Our ornaments, like the associated memories and emotions, run the gamut from picturesque, near perfect to torn and tattered. Covering every time period – childhood, newly-married, young parents with young children, life with teenagers, etc. – and the many places we lived…and the friends.

Just as the melancholy tries to settle in the cowbell appears…and then the silliness starts – “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” silliness.
Even though tomorrow starts a new work week, that kind of seriousness will not be tolerated…not yet. Like an eggnog inebriated Gandalf, Today stands strong, staff in hand, shouting, “You shall not pass” followed by a tiny giggle. We laugh about the Christmas we lived in a motel and turned the TV into our Christmas tree.

Boxes open, more ornaments magically appear. The chairs, the coffee table, the floor disappear under the dizzying array of bulbs, bells, candy canes, the snowman pencil topper, angels, the 3-legged Rudolf, Santas, Nativity scenes… and the tiny pillows embroidered with the words love, peace, and joy.