Monday, December 6, 2010

OH THAT CAT!!! and our Christmas tree

     We love our cat but she drives us nuts!  She wants to eat the tree. She wants to climb the tree.  We watch her like a toddler because we will not give up our tree or our cat.  She is curious, but I also think the changes we have to make in the house to make a tree fit, confuse her.

     Someway, we will have the Christmas tree and our cat.  We may have to make some decorating adjustments but it will be okay.  It is "Tradition!"... can you hear Tevye singing?  Our girls are almost grown and it is important to them and to me and I hope to Dave. He patiently lugs the boxes up and down and straightens or adjusts or moves without much complaining.  He is the best!

     As a child, we always had a tree.  One year we couldn't wait because we thought Daddy was taking too long, so William and I traipsed out behind the house and got one ourselves. It was probably not our most beautiful, but I still remember that little adventure I took with my oldest brother!

     Throughout our life together, Dave and I and the girls have always had a tree.  Some years I get overwhelmed and threaten not to put one up, but we always do.  Through a Christmas deployment, when the tree stayed up until Dave got home, cool or weirdly warm Texas Christmases, and cold or snowy Tennessee, Oklahoma, and German Christmases, the tree is a standard. It links our holidays.

     Our tree is not a theme tree like some, or elegant like others.  It is a scrapbook.  One we only take out once a year.  As we go through the ornaments, we are touching memories.  We pick and choose which ones to display each year, but even the ones not hung bring back memories.  There are ornaments from friends far away.  Others, we have bought each year for each other or the girls.  We are saving theirs up so when they have their own home, part of us will be with them at Christmas. It will be a "mini" hope chest gift in a world where most people don't have a hope chest any more. There are the Christmas crackers that remind of us of David's childhood and his family. There are also the ornaments from my Mama, plastic icicles, even one from her Mama and ornaments she shared with me. They keep me close to her and Daddy every year, no matter where I am.

     Each year as we open the boxes to decorate, it is a little like opening a time capsule.  We remember places we have visited, people we have known, events in our lives.  Some make us smile, some make us laugh out loud and yes, some even make us sad. That is okay though, because even the ones that make us sad help us recall happy memories.  Some of the reminders were bought in stores, some were lovingly crafted by friends, and some were made by sweet little hands in Bible class or Girl Scouts or other places just for fun. There is even a styrofoam cup angel and a decorated twig that I would not trade for the world.

     So the cat, Luna, will adjust and so will we.  We will have the tree and we will have the cat and things will be  okay. I will sit in the dark with the tree lights on this year, like past years, and remember.  My dear friends and family, know that I will be thinking of you as I do.

     I guess it is time to find a cat ornament for the tree.

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