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A Christmas tree full of memories

POSTED: December 9, 2009 4:00 a.m.

There is nothing pretty about the little bird in our Christmas tree. It is made of that shiny metallic stuff that most Christmas ornaments are made of. It has a tail that looks more like a brush. Instead of feet, it has a spring-loaded clip to attach it to the tree.

  

You’d have to be looking for it to see it, but it’s found a place near the top of our tree.

  

My mama thought  there was a place for birds and bird nests in a Christmas tree.

  

That bird is older than I am, and seeing it in the box was like seeing an old friend.

  

The nest is up high, too. 

  

This tree is special to us because it is the first one in our new home. Of all the things we managed to save from the fire, the Christmas ornaments were quite safe.

  

There is a reindeer made of clothespins that are glued together. They are the old-fashioned kind without a spring. It’s a little goofy looking, because the antlers are as long as the legs.

  

I made that reindeer and Mama always hung on to it, so it’s there in the tree. It’s my tribute to her.

  

Mama is not the only one who has a place or two on the tree. There are ornaments that were chosen by my daughter, Ashton, during her pink and purple phase. There is a pink ornament with daisies on it. It was her choice and I’m glad it’s on the tree.

  

There are some Coca-Cola ornaments that I believe to be a gift from my sister-in-law’s father, who used to own the local Coca-Cola bottling company, back in the days when every town had one. One of them has that familiar Santa Claus created by Hadden Sunbloom, who really inspired the image of Santa as we now know him today.

  

There are some ornaments that are little frames containing cross-stitched Christmas images, like trees and wreaths. Someone took the time to make them and that makes them special.

  

We have some recent ornaments, too. Like those we purchased when we went to the Macy’s parade in New York. Those also are good memories.

  

It’s a big tree. The box says it is 12 feet tall and I don’t think it’s an inch less. I’m not sure why I ended up at the top of the ladder hanging ornaments, but I did and lived to tell about it. It came pre-lit. I had several relatives who also came that way, especially at this time of year.

  

Not being a fresh-cut tree, I don’t have a great story about cutting it down, but I’m OK with that. We bought it at a clearance sale last January. They were anxious to get rid of it and we needed a tree.

  

I think it’s rather pretty and I enjoy just sitting in the living room and basking in the glow.

  

I already dread taking it down. This may be the year we celebrate the 12 months of Christmas.

  

It’s a brand new tree and I hope we get to enjoy it for many years to come. But thanks to a bird, a reindeer and a pink ornament or two, it’s already a tree of memories.

  

Harris Blackwood is the author of “When Old Mowers Die.” His e-mail address is harrisblackwood@gmail.com.

 

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