verb– feel or show great joy or delight.
Yup, that pretty much sums up my state of mind during Christmas, the holidays, New Year; joy and delight. Not all the time, that would be a little strange, but in my heart and mind for most of the time.
Christmas was always a magical time as a child. I couldn’t wait for the day that the big white box with the faded green image of tree would resurface from its eleven month slumber in the far reaches of our basement. I think the ‘far reaches’ was for the benefit of safe storage of said tree, away from a precocious child who wanted Christmas every day.
Tree decorating day would usually find me bouncing off the walls of our cozy home in Montreal East. My poor parents! From classic glass ornaments to silk stranded covered balls and cute figurines that spoke of Christmas, winter and rejoicing, we had them all. Sparkling tinsel and accordion style garland in bright metallic colours, adorned the walls of our home and brought joy to this child’s heart. There was more though! There were lights! Red, blue green and yellow lights that shone like colourful stars all over the tree; warming it and bringing it to life.
Through the years, ornaments changed, broke, were replaced with new. The tree remained constant. I’m not sure when it was finally laid to rest but it was likely in my late teens or early 20’s.
This year, Ken and I marked the tenth Christmas in the home we’ve made together, with the purchase of a Christmas tree. Our childhood memories are not so different and the same type of tree that warms my memory, echoes in his as well. We’ve had 12 Christmases together and several different trees; second hand, fresh, small, medium, fibre optic (did I mention, I love Christmas?) but this one was special as it reminded both of us of our childhood Christmases and we were giddy in our excitement to bring ‘our’ tree home. We hope this tree will preside over many Christmases to come.
We decorated our tree with ornaments from our lives, separate and together but it was missing something; it’s crowning glory. Star? Angel? Santa Claus? Darth Vader helmet – mmmhmmm, it’s happened. We couldn’t decide. We tried the star we had, we tried the Santa we had and as much as we both love Star Wars, Darth Vader just wasn’t the right choice for this special tree.
On a whim, I popped into our local thrift store, just to see what they might have, and there she was. I don’t usually like Angels as tree toppers; looking down on you with stern expressions and plastic features. This one is different, simple, regal and serene, watching over us and rejoicing. She may be old or young, it’s hard to tell. I like to imagine the Christmases she’s seen and hope that each was special, magical and full of joy.
The cashier asked if I wanted a bag. “No, thank you, I’ll just tuck her in my coat.”
Ken placed her gently atop our tree, it’s crowning glory, and she didn’t waiver, didn’t slide or sit crooked. She simply took her place to do her duty.
We hadn’t yet named her as I started to write but as I conclude, her name has come to me, clearly and decisively. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to “Hope”.