Merry Christmas to all my friends and my family, scattered as you are. I’ll be thinking of you today and hoping that you all have a happy Christmas.
Some of you may not know why this year I did not put up the big white Christmas tree that I bought specifically for this house. There were several reasons. First, Sophie (the grey cat) chewed off the cord last year. Next, I redid my living room in my quest to have a “living room you can live in” and that project’s success meant that along with enough comfortable seating to have people over to watch soccer or Zoolander, the ornaments clashed mightily with the new, restful yet energetic browns and rusts. So, I knew a new tree was in order, maybe another white tree, or perhaps, in honor of my mother, who loved Christmas very much, the gaudiest possible gold tree. That is where the idea started.
My mom always had more than one tree. Even in my childhood, I remember having a little tree in my bedroom that had multicolored lights. Looking back, I think that Christmas was simply too big for her to just have one tree. It takes a lot of trees and a lot of joy to convey the deep, religious faith she had behind what sometimes seemed to be a very polished exterior. In her last years, she had to pare down from the number of trees she had in a 2500 square-foot house, which was a lot of trees, but she still managed to rebuild her collection a bit in assisted living and had two gold trees–one I bought that had gold ornaments and a huge, glittered “Merry Christmas” ornament, and a smaller tree that was a table topper from a Christmas dinner. I decided to use my bay window to make a Christmas forest, one that she would be proud of. Two of the trees have battery-powered LCD lights and there is room on each end of the bay for cats to look out the window at birds. Merry Christmas, Mama. We miss you, but know you are finally having the best Christmas ever.