Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For mom it was the gold beads, for me it's the ribbon

I've not been able to get the tree to look right this year, something about how the ribbon is hanging. I tried buying more ribbon, draping it differently, etc -- I just can't get it to work. Today was my third and final try. I popped Nutcracker in the cd player, dragged a chair over from the dining room, took the ribbons off, and set to work getting them just right.

Whenever we would finish putting ornaments on the tree at my house growing up it would be time for mom to put on THE BEADS. We were never to touch the beads, no less hang them on the tree. Mom used to tell us the really old ones were real gold. As they would break through the years, some got replaced with plastic beads, but the original ones that were left were always saved for the very top. She would meticulously go around the tree, on her tippy toes on a chair, draping the beads so they were just to her liking. I never understood what the big deal was with the beads -- they're just BEADS, slap them on there and be done with it. Until I got my own tree.

This is our fourth Christmas with it being just the two of us in Lexington. We LOVE going out to the farm every year to pick our tree -- the same big black lab, Oscar, greets us at the end of the drive, and the man who owns the farm remembers us and what kind of tree we got last year. We always get a nice tall fir, something that will touch our 8' ceiling. Pete hangs the lights, we both hang the ornaments, and I finish the tree by adding ribbon. Last year's tree was PERFECT! Last year's Christmas was perfect -- Audrey had just gotten married, we had just seen the Rockettes in NYC, life couldn't be better.

I wasn't sure we would get a tree this year at all. I was campaigning to skip Christmas -- it sort of worked, we're going to St. Lucia, right? But over Thanksgiving my Grandma told me I WOULD get a tree and told us we WOULD decorate it because that is what my mom would have wanted. So we went to our tree farm. We got our tree; a nice, tall, fat Frasier Fir, and took it home to decorate. We put on the lights and the ornaments. Then I tried adding the ribbon. It didn't look right, but I left it until this week because I was pushing all Christmas things to the back of my mind until after finals. Saturday afternoon I messed with the ribbons, still no good. Flash forward to this afternoon. Sugar plum fairies were dancing on the cd and I re-draped the last ribbon, climbed off the chair and looked at the tree. It was beautiful. And I couldn't stop crying.

I know why mom hung the beads, she was the only one who get them just right. She was the only one who could do a lot of things just right. My ribbon is still a little off -- but that's okay. Christmas is off this year -- and will be for quite a while I suspect. I think of my mom everyday and I miss her everyday, but it is especially hard right now.

So, for Grandma, here's our (slightly off but beautiful just the same) Christmas Tree:

9 comments:

Allie said...

Laura, what a sweet tribute to your mom....and your tree is very, very pretty.

lesli said...

oh my gosh i'm having the ugly cry right now. what a beautiful memory and so perfectly put. i'm certain your mom would be so happy and proud of the beautiful tree that you decorated.

Merry Christmas.

Tammy said...

that was so beautiful Laura :) I'm glad you put up your tree - it will make you smile every time you pass it. We wish you and Pete a very Merry Christmas!! :)

jenni said...

I'm glad your tree is "slightly off but beautiful just the same"...
Pete insists on beads at at our house.. Every year I hear the bead story.. every year Ben will hear the bead story.. and until he's big enough to understand - he will CONTINUE to pull the beads off so he can rearrange them...
We miss you guys...

Cassidy Dawn said...

That may have been the most beautiful blog post I've read.

Merry Christmas Laura!

Diana said...

John lost his father in July. I will be praying for you to have peace and hope tomorrow and during these holidays. Your tree is beautiful. I can never figure out the ribbon thing.

Jennifer Wheeler said...

The tree is beautiful, and so was this blog (I'm all misty eyed). Haven't seen you in awhile, hope finals and everything went ok. I wish you guys a merry Christmas and a WONDERFUL trip. Call us when you get back!

B said...

A great tribute to a great lady. :) Life is a "little off" sometimes, but your beautiful mom is watching over you and always will.

Pocket said...

I'm so glad you put up your tree! What a great post. So glad you all could come last night. Have fun in St. Lucia!