Thursday, December 18, 2014

Looking for the Spirit of Christmas

Decoration on one of the holiday trees at The Paine, in Oshkosh
I confess.

I have not put up a Christmas tree for a number of years, now.  I have several boxes of beautiful real glass ornaments many dating from the early 1950s.  Even those from the 1980s could be considered vintage at this point.  I stopped collecting when so many ornaments available started being made of shiny plastic.  I even have a string of glass beads, probably from the late 1890s.  They stay in their boxes, safe, each year.

The story of the Nutcracker so illustrates this thought, too.
I think I stopped about the time I became divorced and Christmas shrank from a family occasion to one where it was clearly delineated by where Handsome Son would spend it.  Christmas, for me is about children.

Never more so illustrated than my Handsome Son's first Christmas.  He was just three weeks old, and on Christmas Eve we loaded him into the car and drove out to a couple of our favorite decorated subdivision in IL awash with lights.  I think we fried his eyeballs!  We took him out of his carrier and held him up in the front seat so he could see the lights.  Rather than squinting them shut, he was wide-eyed.  The wonder of Christmas displayed in the eyes of a babe.  No idea what Handsome Son thought was actually going on!

Maybe it looked like this?

This year there is a new baby for Christmas!  Little Man, fourth son of my brother, unnamed, but welcome by all.  (Little does he know the family he has slipped into!) He is born 21 years and 5 days after his oldest cousin, my son.

"Little Man"
He looks a a lot like his eldest brother, and seems to have a halo of red hair, although given his brother, will have a long way to go to be tagged "red-head".

Eldest, likes to wear his "bat hat".  Don't ask about what he is holding over his eyes!  He also declares repeatedly, he is ORANGE-haired.  Theirs is a household of boys, except for  their sweet mama. Which generational is strange, as I grew up in a household of girls (five, plus mom).

Previously, the youngest, dressed as a giraffe.

The fraternal twin of the eldest, four minutes making him second.
Handsome Son and his girlfriend
Christmas is the people.

Handsome Son and his girlfriend will be here on Christmas Day.  We will cook together, something we often do, but in the spirit of the occasion will place a tablecloth on the dining room table. pull out the fine china, and make it much more festive.  Maybe I will test my skills on a drunken bread pudding, something to which a close neighbor reintroduced me earlier this year.

Especially as Handsome Son turned 21, this month and is no longer just my baby.


  1. AW! I loved this post.
    I am so glad you get to have your son with you this Christmas. Whoop it up and have a great time.
    I have an old fashioned Christmas tree and I love it. I have some antique ornaments and I hve new ones, too. I like to mix them on the tree with the rocking horses.

    Why don't you find one of those small "trees" that are made of just metal - with hooks on the ends- and you can display a few of the antique glass ornaments and not have a big tree? I love those old ornaments, I wish I had a few of my moms. I think they all got broken or my dad threw them out because they weren't "modern". He was funny about old things like that. Regardless, enjoy your day.
    Merry Christmas!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your story of Christmas and your son. This is a season of family, friends, and quiet. It is nice to have people to share it with. Thanks again. Jack