Santa's Little Helper is coming tomorrow night to assemble my tree for me. And maybe spread some more Christmas magic around the house. I will walk into my home after dinner out with a friend and VIOLA! instant Christmas. Right?
Well, first I had to haul all my holiday tubs into the den for SLH to use tomorrow. And, then I may have dug through a cheery red tub or seven. Big Mistake. I ended up blubbering on the phone with Married Daughter, because I was considering taking all the tubs straight to Goodwill and pushing them to the curb. Married Daughter asked me to wait until she could look through the items I didn't want anymore. (All. Of. It.) She said she might take some back to Pennsylvania with her after Christmas. (Secretly? I think she knows I may regret the Christmas Purge of 2010 and is going to hide the red and green tubs in the attic until I come to my senses.) (Or maybe she really does want that Precious Moments nativity set circa 1980.)
Continuing on, I kept eyeing and circling the Christmas tree box. Why, oh WHY, does that box upset me so much this holiday season?
And then I remembered.
I was always the appointed tree-put-er-upper in our house. But, during D's last Christmas I developed walking pneumonia and he volunteered to put the tree up. When I awoke from a three-hour nap, he had just finished fluffing every single branch. "I don't think these branches have been fluffed in years!" he commented. (Wrong. They had NEVER been fluffed.That was up to me and I am not a fluffer.) D, ever the engineer, also noted that the different lettered branches were not sorted out together in the box. In Mars, they apparently sort fake Christmas tree branches for fun. Who knew?
I also remembered that year was also the only time D also took the tree down. Loyal Sister and I had flown up to see Married Daughter, and we were taking a side trip to Branson, so D did tree take-down duty for me, too. Call me crazy, but something about knowing D was the last one to have been inside that box makes it very difficult for me to open it.
I finally plucked up the chutzpah tonight to open the box and peek inside. And? I immediately burst into laughter. You see, D had taken zip lines and bound all the same sized branches together for easy assembly. And then laid them in neat order inside the box.
Thinking about me until the end.
When I put the tree away this year, maybe I will sort and organize the branches so they'll be ready for Christmas next year.
You know: the year that will be easier than this year.