Sometimes you have to let Christmas trees go

Published 10:08 am Friday, September 20, 2013

“…For in this new garden

of fresh start over

with its mysteries of walking water,

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give thanks for late summer’s

rose afternoons shading

into amethyst, then deepening

into red water grass evenings,

time of late-blooming pumpkins.” 

~ Lorna Goodison

I did it. I gave away my Christmas tree; the white tree I’ve put up every December for many years, so many years that sparkling-white branches slowly turned an ancient tea-stained shade. The tree saw me through marriage, child, old house, dogs, cat and after that life. People came to see it — replete with spun-glass German angel hair, glistening icicles, glowing lights, decorations of all kinds – it transformed into magic. I even learned (or tried) to put the cursed thing with two billion parts together after I was on my own: a horror for a right-brained sort. At first, the chore took two hours, more like three. Years later, I’d do it in under 30 minutes… cheating and sticking branches anywhere I chose, ignoring directions and color-coded-parts  (Artistic license I called it.)

Pooh once sent the tree crashing down by accident — it took two people to get it back up — that was a memory indeed. A last-minute notion, I asked the Steps to HOPE guys who came to pick up donations if they’d like to take it too. Sure, they cheerfully said, lugging the heavy box out along with boxes of the good, the bad, the ugly. I wonder if someone else will find magic in that old tree, or if they’ll look at it and wonder who on earth would donate such old junk. That was the one thing, out of all the thrift shop donations, that I almost cried come back. But I didn’t.