In case you haven’t noticed by all the decorations and sales in the malls, the fa-la-la-la-la-ness on TV and radio, and even by this photo of me with this tree, the holidays are here. This photo was taken earlier this month, and I’m showing off a couple of things:
- First, the clothing. I’m sporting a glittery gold top I found about 2 or 3 years ago at Forever 21. As I’ve noted in my previous posts, the holidays tend to bring out sparkly or classy clothing for parties, etc., and this top is well suited for the season. I’ve paired it with my trusty pair of Apostrophe leather pants I bought at Sears when I still lived in Green Bay in the early 2000s (yes, a long time ago). Admittedly, my waistline has changed a little bit since then and they may not flatter my waistline as well as it had previously (which is why my left arm his hiding my girth), but this was my first real pair of real leather pants. Oh, sure, I had owned other leather or faux leather articles of clothing (i.e. jackets, skirts) by that time, but there’s something about leather pants that makes me feel all girly, and that’s why I’ve held on to them for so long. Together, this top and these pants (and this necklace) create a wonderful look for a casual night in with friends or the one you love.
- Secondly, the tree. I’m usually one to haul out my decorations from the closet and my tree from the basement on Thanksgiving weekend, if solely for the fact that most of the decorations were made by my mom. (See those moon-shaped bear ornaments? Mom made those. Ditto for the lace-winged angels.) Mom has always been into crafting and sewing in one form or another, and her creations have always made me proud of her creativeness. Most of Mom’s ornaments were shared by my sister and I when we shared an apartment when we were younger. When she moved in with here future husband, she didn’t want most of Mom’s ornaments (why she didn’t, I’ll never know), so I kept the ornaments ever since, and I happily bring them out every December. Though I live alone and am the only one able to enjoy them in person, Mom’s ornaments always seem to brighten up my tree and my living room.
Christmas was always an exciting time for me as a little kid; it was always the best part of the whole year, due, of course, to Santa Claus, his impending visit to our house, and the efforts of my sister and I to be really good for Santa. Most years, it also meant traveling from one end of Wisconsin to the other to visit my grandparents, provided that my mom’s work schedule and the weather allowed for it. It was while watching TV at Grandma’s that I began to grasp the fact that Santa wasn’t the only one that gave out presents: A local TV station aired ads for local retailers that all began with a cheerful yet cheesy 5-second musical reminder that Christmas was coming soon (“Only 3 more shopping days ’til Christmas da-a-ay!”) and you should buy stuff from these particular stores. Yep, holiday commercialism can be an easy thing for a 6-year-old to pick up.
By the time I became and adult, some of that good holiday cheer began to wane. It sure didn’t help that during the years in my 20s when I didn’t live with my sister, I couldn’t afford my own tree or decorations. At least Mom helped ease that concern one Christmas by giving me an 18-inch-high, pink-tinseled, pyramid-shaped “tree” that could fit on my living room end table; it wasn’t as attractive or as festive as a traditional tree with ornaments, but I sure didn’t look that particular gift horse in the mouth.
Even though I’ve matured (well, sort of matured) since my early adult years, my holiday spirit still isn’t as strong as it was in my youth. An obvious reason for that is the concerns about job and money I must deal with every day. I mean, Christmas comes but once a year, but a job is something you deal with every day, and bills are something you deal with at least once a month. As well, the turning of the year that goes hand-in-hand with Christmas adds to it, along with the concern/anticipation said new year can bring. Yeah, being an adult can sure be the pits sometimes.
But, you know, there’s still something about ornaments on a tree and decorations on a shelf that lets a mind harken back to the thrill of Christmastime one had as a kid. When I look at my Christmas tree, a part of me hopes that Santa will put underneath it all my hopes and dreams for the next 12 months: Secure employment, a happy and healthy family, perhaps even $30 million dollars a month tax-free in a Swiss bank account. Okay, I’m kidding about that last part, although more breathing room in the bank account wouldn’t hurt.
But at least I know that the tree will provide me with some recollections of the holidays of my youth, how much fun and enjoyment they gave me back then, and the eternal wish that some of that holiday fun and enjoyment will creep back into my life and brighten my spirits. So, whatever holiday you celebrate, and whatever wishes you may have for the season, here’s hoping it’s a happy and safe season for you and yours. Happy Holidays to you all! xoxo