Annie and I decorated our Christmas tree this afternoon. She oohed and awed as we pulled out the ornaments from her childhood, as well as those from her dad's and mine. We talked about the people no longer here who we miss every day, but even more so at Christmas.
Both of my parents were artistic. My father built me the most wonderful playhouse when I was five. It was built from his heart, without the benefit of plans. It had a white picket fence in front, real shingles on the roof and a Dutch door in the back. One of my biggest regrets in life is that I don't have one picture of it. But, I can see every inch of it in my mind's eye.
My mother sewed our curtains and jumpers, and our little house sparkled from her touch. That magic touch was never more evident than at Christmas time. Each year a Christmas candle, bought at church in early December, made our home glow. The candles came in tall glass containers (they were actually altar candles) in jewel tones of red, amber, blue or green. My mother always came home with a red one. We lit the candle on Christmas Eve to await the Babe, and it burned for an entire week in celebration. The glow of that candle was magic.
This year my mother has been gone for ten years...my father for thirty.
Years ago, when I was teaching, my mother painted this sweet Nativity set for me. I put this on my window sill in every one of my classrooms...parochial school...you could do that kind of thing. This is the first year since I lost my mother that I have been able to get it out again. I like seeing it again.
When my parents retired to Florida, my mother did lots of crafts. I have many ornaments on my tree that she made so many years ago. My father even got into the act and painted some clothespin soldiers. They are all there on this humble fir...the handy work of two people gone so long...but always, always in my heart.
Hope you all are enjoying Christmas memories...and making new ones.
Enjoy the day,