January 8, 2013
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Christmas is tough. I’m not alone in that. This year was still a bit bumpy in terms of holiday spirit, but little granddaughter is helping. And so did the Charlie Brown Tree.
My mom used to say that Christmas was for kids. Clearly, she meant the holiday not the holy day. And she was right. This year, my first as a dad with no more teenagers was also my first as a granddad with a grandchild old enough to understand something was going on. She is two; my youngest son is 20. This Christmas provided an interesting confluence of losing and gaining a sense of holiday at the same time. And lo and behold, the Christmas tree made a difference.
I didn’t have a tree at the house. Just stockings hung by the chimney with care, each bearing a name: one for each of the boys, for the dogs, for the daughters in-law, and granddaughter. A few decorations on the mantel rounded out the festive feel, and Christmas was celebrated at my house on December 23. I love “deepaw Christmas” because I get to smoke meats (way too much) and have everyone around for eating, talking and laughing. On December 26, we all met at my new property in the woods. Before little one could arrive, Santa put bows and ornaments on a small pine tree. My frozen fingers felt like it was “job well done,” but when I looked at it later….well, it looked like Charlie’s tree. And I recalled the time that mom and dad were going to forego a tree and then decided to buy one at nearly the last minute. The nearly bare, tilting tree made us all laugh and mom vowed to never delay like that again. The look of the tree, the fond memories, the new memories being made (I also gave her this year a recordable book of The Charlie Brown Christmas) made for a special moment. The tree will stay decorated on the property for as long as its decorations hold on. And future grandchildren will get their trees, too. Christmas holidays may be coming back as part of daddin’.