A Christmas story

Published 8:48 pm Monday, December 27, 2010

As I stepped out of the car into the kind of bitter cold that sent Southerners into their stash of thermal underwear, I could feel the bite of the air against my cheeks and knew my face now possessed the rosiness that could only make its presence known on cold winter evenings like this. Into my arms was deposited an unbelievably vast amount of food that could have easily fed a small third world country, and then I was ushered into my grandparents cute white siding house that was adorned with twinkling Christmas lights.

Greeted by a warmth that could have rivaled any mid-August heat, I headed towards the table that was covered with a startling amount of food which left me wondering where all the food in my arms was to be placed. However I was soon relieved of my burden, as my mother and aunt went about, in a whirlwind of pots and plates, to righting the table and preparing it for the meal that was about to commence. As I slowly scanned the familiar surroundings my gaze fell upon the sad little Christmas tree that Papa had chosen this year.

This particular tree had been picked from our own land. We have a few pines around our house and Papa usually comes over to pick his Christmas tree because he can get it free from us. This tree did not possess a fullness, a beauty that many look for in a tree. Its limbs were thin and scrawny, the needles short and thin. The tree seemed to droop at the amount of Christmas ornaments that adorned its limbs. The sad plant was wrapped in a multitude of lights and silvery icicles, and the star was not placed at the top of the tree, but was instead in a hole near the top that was due to the sagging limbs.

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Despite all this, it was the cutest tree I had ever seen. As I approached, my eyes caught on the ornaments that had pictures of our family in them and I could not retain the smile that crept upon my face at the realization at how much we had changed. The pictures of my older cousins as babies and me as the little blonde child with my front teeth missing made me understand that even though the world was in turmoil, in my grandparents cozy house, the world seemed complete and happy.

As I turned away from the tree to the calls of my name coming from those already seated at the table, my mind whirled with the possibilities of all the new memories and pictures to come.

Brianna Dill is a student in Alan Peoples freshman language arts class at Polk County High School.