“Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.”

Rainy and chilly this morning, but that will be changing in the next couple of days to warm and sunny. I almost can’t wait. The sun has been missing for so many days the world almost seems post-apocalyptic. Exaggeration you’re thinking? Not so says I who has seen so many science fiction movies. I know post-apocalyptic!!

Two spawns of Satan were at the feeders this morning as were two birds I haven’t seen dining on the deck before. I looked them up, and they were white-throated sparrows. Nuthatches and woodpeckers have been by every day, but I haven’t seen my chickadees, the usual stalwarts. The new suet feeder has been seeing quite a bit of action as has the older one I rehung. The birds seem to like where it is now.

The errand on tap today is fun. I need wreaths as the outside lights go up tomorrow. I’ll be happy, even in the rain, to wander through the garden center filled with the scent of Christmas.

When I was young, I don’t ever remember caring what the tree looked like before it was decorated. It was always a wonder. My father would bring it in and set it up in the corner where the TV console usually sat. He’d get on his stomach and slide under the lowest branches to tighten the screws on the tree stand into the trunk. My mother usually held the tree as straight as she could while my father tightened. I remember the fully decorated tree falling down a few times. Once my brother and I were home alone when it fell. I held it up while he tried to fix it firmly into the stand. My father took to using wire or string attached to the tree trunk then to the wooden part of the windows so the tree would have extra support.

It was always agony waiting for a couple of days for the tree branches to fall in a good way, to spread out after being enclosed for travel. Once they did, we could decorate. We all had traditional jobs. My father was in charge of the lights, the old kind of lights where one bulb knocked out the whole set. He has his system for testing to find the culprit. Once the lights were on, my mother strung the tinsel in loops around the tree. She has a vision as to how it should look. Then it was our turn. We got to put the ornaments on, except for the really big beautiful ones my mother always hung on the top branches away from us. My sisters were young and shorter so they did the lower branches. We always oohed and ahhed over the ornaments as if we’d never seen them before. Last were the icicles (though for some they’re called tinsel). We’d hang them one at a time off branches then we’d throw them in piles on the tree out of boredom.  My mother usually finished the tree. She’d remove those gobs of icicles we’d thrown and individually hang each one. She took her time, and the tree was always beautiful.

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24 Comments on ““Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.””

  1. im6 Says:

    Been waiting all morning for you to post so I could share this. Sooooo… in the spirit of Christmas, don’t miss the two songs here:
    Words fail me !

    • Kat Says:

      As soon as Miss Alexis Lee began to sing Santa Baby, a wonderful choice for a little girl, I got chills down my back. I don’t know if they were from fear or disgust or an oncoming illness.

      Her singing Dominic will stay in my head for a long time. “It a Lee!” I wonder who taught her to scream the last word in every line.

      Why, oh why did you do this to me?

      • im6 Says:

        At least you found words, Kat. I was struck dumb by the sheer awfulness? inappropriateness? hilarity?… yeah, I think hilarity is the word I’ve been searching for. It’s a shame I’ve completed my holiday mix (which apparently isn’t very popular!).

    • Birgit Says:

      Nope. Not added to the Christmas mix.
      im6, your great swinging holiday mix can’t be unpopular.

  2. Kat Says:

    I suspect it is very popular. I’m thinking people just didn’t comment. My songs seldom gets comments, but they do get downloaded.

    Hilarity is a great word but it doesn’t have enough of the shiver up my back inference.

  3. Bob Says:

    Here is my favorite Christmas song


    I really don’t understand why Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December or what decorating evergreen trees have to do with the birth of Jesus. Historically, if you believe the Bible, Jesus was born in the Springtime and I am not sure which part of Israel is the supplier of evergreen trees or how tinsel was used in the first century 🙂 But then again, who really cares because non of the trappings have anything to do with religion but have everything to do with stimulating the economy. All of the holiday symbols are just warmed over Northern European pagan rituals. Peace on earth and goodwill to all is still just a dream. And more people have been killed in the name of religions than almost any other ideology. It’s only in the last decade that the Catholics and the Protestants sort of buried the hatchet in Northern Ireland. I think they still don’t really like each other.

    Therefore lets all have a merry old time of it celebrating the winter solstice and poke fun at things like Santa while we agree that if it wasn’t for Chanukah there would never have been Christmas.

    • Kat Says:

      Actually Christ was born in 4 B.C. so the year 1 is out. That B.C. year was determined from historical references.

      The Egyptians worshipped evergreens, and the tree started being part of the Christmas celebration around the Renaissance, long before stimulating the economy. The fir tree symbolizes eternal life as it never shed its needles.

      So many of our customs for all the holidays come from a combination of religions. Christianity kept the trappings of the religions it displaced to give the new Christians something with which they could identify. The Romans decorated for Saturnalia and much of that celebration continued into Christmas.

      I think peace on earth and goodwill to all is a hope rather than a dream.

      • Bob Says:

        I did not realize that Jesus was born 3 years before Christ. Of course the spread of Christanity in the Roman world included the customs of previous pagen religions. The number one reason that the Jesus branch of Judaism spread quickly among the Romans and not the more traditional form of Judaism was that its believers didn’t have to undergo circumcision. Monotheism was on the rise in the Roman Empire and if a man was going to chose a branch of Judaism to follow, then the one that won out hands down didn’t require cutting off the skin on the end of his pee pee. 🙂

  4. Morpfy Says:

    Wth the Christmas season upon us now. Whats evryone planning on having for that Christmas dinner? ,/b>

    • Kat Says:

      I always like the elegance of a rib roast or a crown roast of pork with stuffing in the middle. I try not to duplicate the vegetables of Thanksgiving so I make a different potato like an au gratin and I make colorful vegetables.

      Dessert is easy: all those Christmas cookies.

  5. Bubba Says:

    Morpfy, I’ll just be doing the drive thru thing in my old pick-up leaving my trailer to deliver the kids presents to my ex’s home.
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o477FQT65pY?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

    • Kat Says:

      Thanks, Bubba

      That was really fun to watch. I’d have smacked him for taking all those cookies. The Christmas Eve party was almost out of control (for the home that is!).

  6. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Well, since we’re being silly, here is one of my favorite Xmas Carols

    It’s snaining up here. Bleh.

    • Bob Says:

      Thanks, I had never heard this one before. It hits the nail right on the head.

      • Kat Says:

        I think you can make Christmas wonderful. We have great traditions. We go a Christmas play every year then out to dinner. It used to be with our mother too so we have that memory attached to the evening.

        There are village walks every weekend until just before Christmas. You can take a hay ride, sing carols and watch the lights and trees being lit for the time for the season. Stores and shops have cookies and egg nog and even soup.

        On Christmas Eve we decorate gingerbread houses. We each have a small one, and we sit at the table, eat appetizers and decorate. We seldom talk as engrossed as we are in our creations.

        I still love Christmas, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Make your own gifts. I did for years.

    • Kat Says:

      Thanks, Caryn

      This was my first time hearing this.

      Rained all day here too!

  7. olof1 Says:

    15,8 F here right now and the snow is falling once again. Well at least it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas 🙂 Doris the Doe and her daughter sort of makes it look like something from a Disney movie 🙂

    We had much the same routines like You when it came to decorating the tree, well my father was absent but otherwise it was much the same.

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      It sounds far too cold for me, and I’m not yet ready for snow. Maybe in another couple of weeks.

      Doris and her coe do have a Disney look about them.

      My father gave up his lights duty after a while. We were all glad as he didn’t hang them well, just sort of put them on the branches.

  8. Birgit Says:

    I guess, a Christmas decorated big cactus and other inappropriate plants on the window sill doesn’t count to join in 😉
    No tree in the small room. But the cactus has even a tinsel clump and the traditional Christmas pyramid is mandatory. I wonder how popular pyramids and Advent calendars are in the States?

    My favorite silly not-so-christmas song:

    • Kat Says:

      Decorations count, no matter their size.

      I have a small pyramid, and I gave my sister a really large one for Christmas a couple of years ago. It came from Germany. We always have an advent calendar. My mother used to give us each one every Christmas, and now I send one to each of my sisters. Today I opened door 1!!

      • Caryn Says:

        I have a toy Chihuahua that wears a Santa hat, shakes maracas and sings La Bamba. I have no idea how chihuahuas, maracas or La Bamba relate to Christmas but it’s wearing a Santa hat so it counts. Besides, it makes me smile. 😀 😀

  9. Kat Says:

    I have the same Chihuahua and it makes me smile too!! 😉

  10. Bubba Says:

    ahhh a silly didy but yum them varmits.
    ->> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3M7IR6jkpc

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