Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mr. Rockwell, I'm Ready for my Closeup

You all have your tree, don't you?

You should just admit it. You went out to the local farm. You took your adorable children, packed them onto a horse-drawn sleigh and rode through the tree farm until you found the perfect tree. You sawed it down and brought it out of the woods, with the horse hooves clip-clip-clopping and the sleigh bells jingling. When you were finished your cheeks were ruddy and you warmed yourselves with hot chocolate. When you came home, you decorated your tree with beautiful ornaments, and strung popcorn and holly berries.

You should just admit it. Your presents have been carefully selected, purchased and wrapped in lovely holiday paper. There are bows and curly-cue ribbons and a smartly placed gift tag on each one. They are all ready to be placed under the tree on Christmas morning.

You should just admit it. Your holiday meal is planned. You have stocked up on flour, sugar and sugar sprinkles in every color under the rainbow. Your recipes have been chosen, and you have special, decorative holiday tins for each handcrafted gift from your kitchen.

OK, then.

I'll admit it. I have a tree. I got it last night in a last second "better do it now before the weather becomes unmanageable." I drove out to the lot (buy a tree, send a kid to camp) and picked one in record time, which was approximately 4 minutes, 35 seconds. I brought it home but left it in the trunk while I prepared the home...which I did by picking up piles of stuff and piling it up somewhere else. I grabbed the old Christmas tree stand because I couldn't find the new Christmas tree stand. I dragged the tree in the house, plopped it in the stand and found some cardboard to wedge under the foot so the tree would stand up straight.

I'll admit it. My holiday isn't picture perfect. Norman Rockwell wouldn't look at my house for any sort of inspiration. So far there are no presents, wrapped or unwrapped. There are no holiday goodies to be found. But I have a tree in a corner. There may not be any lights or decorations on it yet, but I see it as an blank canvas; an invitation. It's not just a sad, plain tree, it's the hope and promise for beauty to come. And that speaks more of the season than anything else.

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