That time of the year again

Published 8:40 am Monday, December 28, 2015

There I was, coffee in hand … I had pulled out four boxes of Christmas stuff. I have boxes and boxes but I’m at that certain age where it is just too much to put up and then take down.

Two boxes are the blue icicle lights. I will have light, though I will hear lots of humbug to this. How hard is it to put up the lights on a fence line? And just think how easy they hang down a bit but really not too much else. Even though my cousin said, “What, no tree? You have to have a tree.” Now she always puts up a tree and really decorates even though she doesn’t have many people over to see it. She does it to remember all the good times before … But, nope, I’m not going to do it. It is too much work.

The two other boxes I don’t even know what’s in them. I should go through it just to get rid of some stuff. I always have too much stuff.

I was surprised when I opened it up. There on top was a tiny 2-foot purple Christmas tree. Now, purple is my favorite color. I also found a big round barrel of silver and gold balls. Now, I don’t remember buying these at all. They are not something I would either.   

There’s an assortment of metal reindeer and even a singing animated one, and — can you believe it? — a box of tiny lights. At the bottom of the box there was an ornament that’s over 40 years old. How and why it is there I have no idea.

My aunt Nellie made it for me so when taken out over the years we remember her. Aunt Josie and Nellie were two sisters who lived together, were never married and took care of their father. They were proper ladies even though some rumors were they were wild as kids.

I never hear anything more than that they had to have their coffee in a china cup, a fine china cup, Josie would say.

I had family over on Sunday for dinner always and I mean always. I bought a new spring coat that I just had to have new to start the spring right. I had my hair done on Saturday so I would look good when people visited. Josie would always laugh and Nellie would just say, “Now, now,” whenever I was mad at something while blinking her eyes.

Every year they put up a white Christmas tree — I mean a huge tree — and white; I never had seen a white one until I saw theirs.

They go all out decorating it in tinsel and all. They had to have tinsel or else it wouldn’t be a good tree. The little village and the manger under it had no lights. She had this projector that changed lights and shined on the tree. When she got it all finished and just right she would call and say, “I got my tree up. You have to come down and see it.”

She did this even after Nellie died and she was up in years. But you simply had to go down and see her tree. She would point out this and that, and tell you stories of the decorations and tree. Then she would put on a pot of coffee. The tin of Danish butter cookies came out next.

I think my family had stock in it. No matter where you went, they had them or you brought them. Even to this day when I see them, I buy them, although, the tin is way smaller.

So think of all this and finding the tree, lights, ornaments and the reindeer. As my little cousin would say, “It’s a sign. It’s a sign”

So with that I put the reindeer out, put up the tree, light, balls and all — Ok, except the tinsel. It reminded me of all the years passed … the traditions, the family that passed … but they are good memories to have.

It seemed like a visit from them all.

I still have fish on Christmas Eve for my family and beef on Christmas with Yorkshire pudding and wild rice for the hubby’s family.

Traditions, I think, keep us grounded. Forgotten or discarded because of too much work, so we forget. Maybe that’s the problem today.

Jane Capon is a guest columnist who resides in Keysville. She can be reached at