Posted tagged ‘popcorn strands’

“Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.”

December 18, 2016

No countdown can start until the week before the event. It is a rule. That means the countdown to Christmas begins today. If I were little again, this would be momentous.

The day is damp again. It rained during the night. We are left with warmish temperatures, a bit of a wind and gray skies. I went out on the deck earlier to dump the rain puddles from the table cover. The deck got soaked so did my feet.

I’m staying home again today. I don’t mind at all. My house is cozy, and every room is bright with Christmas lights which shine so lovely on a cloudy, dark day.

We used to string popcorn for the tree. We’d sit at the table with bowls of popcorn in front of us and needles thread with thin string in our hands. They were dangerous weapons. Several times we’d prick our own fingers and break the popcorn. Yelps were common. My mother would join our strands to make one long strand of popcorn which was circled around the tree. Shauna, one of my Boxers, would eat the popcorn and drag a strand off the tree to the floor for better access. My father always chuckled. Later, when we were older, we’d string cranberries with the popcorn. They stayed on the tree.

My sister and I were talking last night about our trees. We all buy live trees every year. My family always did. My father and his sister, my Aunt Mary, had a running joke. My mother bought the tree and never told my father the actual price. He’d have been apoplectic. Instead, she’d give him an amount in the $30’s. When my aunt saw the tree, always big and magnificent, she’d ask how much it cost, and my father would tell her. She never believed him. He’d swear it. It was the truth as far as he knew.

“For every year this Christmas tree, Brings to us such joy and glee.”

December 8, 2015

Today is colder than it has been, and it’s raining which adds a bit of bite to the chill. A strong breeze is blowing the leaves and some of the branches. It’s a day to stay inside and be warm and cozy. I’m thinking Hallmark movies.

The Christmas tree has sometimes been a prime target. One of my cats loved to climb it. I remember the first time I saw her halfway up the tree. She was peeking out from the branches and looking at me. I didn’t know if she wanted help or if she was just letting me know where she was. I decided to let her figure out the way down. She did and took a few ornaments with her. That same cat also loved sleeping on the tree skirt under the warmth of the lights. By the end of the Christmas season the tree skirt was black with fur.

My mother put food on her tree. Foolishly we didn’t think of it that way. We saw decorations, but Shauna, my dog at the time, another boxer, saw real sugar cookies and strands of popcorn. We have a picture of her pulling a cookie off the tree. She was quite adept as only the cookie came off the tree and not any other other ornaments. When the cookies were gone,  Shauna decided the popcorn looked good. She grabbed the closest piece of a strand and pulled. It wasn’t the best plan as the strand was around the tree front to back. She might have gotten away with it, but the tree shook and a few ornaments fell. We found her munching on popcorn still attached to the strand and having from the tree. We decide that surrender was the best response so we took the rest of the popcorn off the tree.
Gracie doesn’t touch the tree. She gives it a few sniffs, finds nothing and moves on. My cats were five when I adopted them and were too old for tree climbing though Fern does love to sleep on the same tree skirt under the warmth of the lights. At the end of the season the tree skirt is now white with fur. Cats do love to be cozy.