By Robin Garrison Leach
Put up that Christmas tree. I know you’re thinking about letting it go this year. After all, the kids are grown now and the house only holds a person or two. Why bother, you ask yourself. Especially this year.
Digging through the attic/basement/closet for all those decorations. Rearranging the living room to accommodate that tired tree. Why go to all the work and mess?
I’ll tell you why. You NEED your Christmas tree. Now more than ever. It holds memories that will fill your heart with more warmth than any blazing fireplace. More tenderness than the softest whisper. And more joy than a heart can bear.
Your tree lays there in its trash bag or worn cardboard box, just waiting to be touched by familiar hands. Though not as sturdy as it once was—maybe a bit wobbly or bare in spots—it still embodies the magic of your family in its branches.
In a world shivering in cynicism and shallowness, you had your Christmas tree to remind you of all the things that mattered.
The paper chains and popcorn garlands that circled your tree told the story of sweet simplicity. The homemade ornaments your children made marked the passage of years more succinctly than any timepiece.
Styrofoam balls covered with sequins. Gumdrop snowmen, squished together with earnest hands and innocent eyes. Pipe cleaner candy canes that found themselves higher and higher up the tree each year as little arms grew longer.
Plug in that strand of twinkle lights. Remember the way their reflection glowed in your new baby’s eyes? Stand back and let the magic of yesterday jump from bulb to bulb. You will feel the softness of time snuggling around your heart like fuzzy, footed pajamas. Your arms will remember the weight of growing children; the eager tug of excited hands begging for a closer look.
Now. Wrap up a few things and place them under your tree. It doesn’t matter what you put inside—it never did. The joy was always in the shaking, the guessing, the tearing open and peering inside.
For the complete column, please see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard