December 24, 2013
One of the difficult tasks in the gift giving department is getting the sticky little tags off, the ones that reveal the price, or the sale price. Bonus if you can get the “clearance” label off and the two that preceded and gone down in small increments over the past months, and now in a last ditch effort, the little red tag goes on. If the original tag was to stay, the receiver might think “Wow, she spent that much for this!? She must really love me, poor thing. She never could manage money.” Little do they suspect I paid fifty cents because I had a 20% off any-purchase-in-the-store coupon and I don’t really love them at all. Well, maybe in the grand sense.
But this Christmas, the spirit has been sporadic and mostly evasive. Last year I did a Stage-It online show. I should have done that this year, but the tour in The Netherlands was an autumn one...then it was Florida. I came home to Christmas like I was a visitor of, rather than a participant in. I put on my Christmas coat--bright green silk with reddish flowers really ridiculous, my muffin mitts and dingle-ball hat, red elf shoes and went to a school band concert. Analisa playing the french horn. The band conductor announced, “If you get in the mood, feel free to sing along.” I closed my eyes when Come All Ye Faithful started and sang with eyes closed and tears welling up, and feeling it, not noticing no one else was. I opened my eyes to sideways glances and open mouths all looking in my direction ~ it’s okay, I got a little Christmas.
Analisa played very well. She’s a natural born comedian, eleven years old, gangly, very long feet, braces--and with all that, beautiful. Funny how beauty cannot be disguised. I like that I didn’t embarrass her. I unintentionally embarrassed my children a great deal at school events. They cared about what people thought. It seems it was the beginning of the backlash against the sixties, when people started becoming ridiculously well behaved and fashion became a uniform. Marketing reared its head and people became self-enforcers of wear what is correct for your demographic socio-economic group, etc. I probably would have continued happily being the oddball or the beatnik or hippie or freak. The terms and cliches used daily in mass media. If it were not for children who kept me informed, not so much by words but actions. Anyway, Analisa wasn’t embarrassed which gives me great hope for the future which is nearly here and getting closer by the minute.
My tree is not entirely finished. Most would say it is, but I know it isn’t. Even though Christmas Eve approaches, I’ve taken a sampling from all ten boxes of my ornaments to do the chore. You see, there is a point of no return. You can tastefully space the trimmings. But for me, something is wrong. It’s not the universe, the world. I haven’t done enough, haven’t gotten everyone that perfect something, haven’t solved any of the world’s problems, yet I persist, and hang one more icicle. I bring the past to the present and it unfolds in the drama, comedy, mystery. My story of Melanie, the tree. Why did some bale on me this year without a word, leaving me in mystery? Why did grief leave so soon? I need it to buffer from the harshness and the sharp edges. I string popcorn and cranberries and it all comes together in this tree creation. There is no answer except “yes”; nowhere to put our feet except one in front of the other; nothing more to do than let it go, let it slide. And I put the star on top of the tree. It’s Christmas, My Dear Ones. I brought you all here tonight to spend Christmas Eve with me. There is a sense to all this. And we look up at the stars.