Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shiny Christmas

  Growing up in Sunnyside at my Parent’s house was a case study in frugalness, specially this time of year, when people were out shopping and waiting for snow. I would await the Christmas tree, it was the first sign of how many presents I would get, and if I was going to unwrap another one of my mother’s records. We had three types of Christmas’ that always ended the same. The First was the shining Christmas, and the most common. Then there was the green Christmas and least common was the ‘no tree’ Christmas.
  The shiny Christmas tree as I said before was the most common.  We would go up into the attic and pull down the decoration boxes and move them into the living room.  My father would remove the fake tree its box and stand it up in the corner of the living room.  He would bend the metal wire just so to maximize it appearance, not that anyone would mistake it for a really tree, after all it wasn’t like the tree today.  Pre-lit duplicate trees for over a hundred dollars, that looks as though you just cut it down from the forest.  It was nice for back then but it would never be mistake for a really tree.
  We would decorate it with all the decorations to cover the fact it wasn’t real. So much so it starred looking like a blob of tinsel.  That is why I call it a shiny Christmas.  The light would reflect so bad that is was hard to watch the television. Those years were the most common; we would sign Christmas card and later drop them off.  I can remember running up to the doors of our friends and family and tapping the card to the front door. Luckily, our family didn’t live far away those days.
  The fake tree was the first sign that it was going to be a lean year and presents would be smaller and fewer.   However, by Christmas Day, my dad would always have a large meal planned with 20 pies. I would forget the fact that I got a rewrapped record and just eat another slice of pie. We would be laughing and feeling the Christmas spirit by lunch.
  The Green Christmases were few and far apart. Dad would show up with a real tree and we would take out the decorations but this time we wouldn’t add as much. Mom wanted to see the tree. I believe on the leaner years we would cover the tree; so mom wouldn’t be reminded of the fact that it was a leaner year.
  Those Christmas’ were filled with toys, bikes, and better pies. Dad would invite more people for Christmas dinner, and we would stuff ourselves full of good food and cheer.
  The ‘no tree’ Christmas meant we would be sharing Christmas with someone else that year.  It almost always was a leaner year. We would leave our house and travel to my aunt’s house. I can remember opening my little gift and then watching my cousins open theirs. I dreaded these types of Christmas’ and couldn’t wait for the turkey to be done.  We would sit down at the kids table, eat turkey and watch the dogs line up outside the sliding glass door, waiting for scraps. There was always more food but fewer pies.
  This year, it started as a Green Christmas but I find myself looking for more tensile. In just a few days, it has become a very shiny Christmas. Whatever type of Christmas we were having: my parents did their best to make it special. I was too young to understand that our car broke down and the extra money saved up went to its repair or the countless of other reasons why it wasn’t going to be a Green Christmas. My parents are gone and so is my desire to have those big meals and multitude of pies.
  So, Merry Christmas, if I don’t see you and I hope that whatever Christmas that you are having, that you are sharing it with someone you love.

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