christmas: the epilogueDecember 30, 2007
So this is a post I was going to write about three or four days ago, but I got caught up in the world, visiting old friends and playing with my Christmas toys, and sorta let this thing slide away from me. But here it is, in a briefer package. I’ll be back to fuller form once the holidays are over-er.
Below, you will witness a series of photos taken at my grandfather’s house. They pertain to his Christmas decorating practices, and the glamor therein.
Exhibit #1: Witness the splendor of the outdoor lights. Lighted trees, spiraling lights, Santas, lines of blinking eaves. This is how my grandfather decorates the outside of the house, and it really does attract a lot of people. His house is at the top of a hill overlooking a canyon, so it sorta stands out with all the people from the city that come down to see the seasonal spectacle that is the Christmas Lights.
He’s always done this sort of decorating, which my family and I abandoned long ago. He would climb the roof and string lights all along its edge. However, age prohibits him from doing that any more. We’re glad for this. Often he’d ask the kids to help after Thanksgiving, but any more he has it done long before we even show up for that.
Exhibit #2: The Reindeer. My grandfather’s sister gave him the wooden cut out of these simple woodland creatures so, but he decided that he needed a whole sleigh of them. He quickly designed the sleigh, and set it up for lights and everything. One Christmas went by before the kids informed him that no flock of reindeer, wooded or otherwise, was complete without a Rudolph. So, the very next year we had one. See, he even has a read nose.
Exhibit #3: The Christmas Tree. My grandfather is a practical man. There is little that occurs in his daily life that doesn’t serve some purpose fitting into the great scheme of easing the process of, well, anything. In fact, there are times when he does stuff that is practical to a fault, but its hard to begrudge an old man his shortcomings. He’s made it this far, he must be doing something right.
Please note that the tree is hourglass shaped, if only a little bit. See, right there, at the top. It frays out just below the angel. This is because the base of the top section of the tree is a nice compact rod that holds the angel much better than the branchy top that normally would point up as the top. Thus, hourglass. It’s a topic of much debate in our family, though we kept it under wraps until this year.
His house is my solace in the holidays and in the times when I need to get away. Regardless of the stress of family and friends, this place has its corners that lend themselves to secrecy and solace. I have need of that.
Over the years, I’ve found myself to be the type to only be able to handle my family for a couple days at a time before needing to seriously retreat into the bowels of my mind. Luckily, I always bring plenty for me to do, and I’ve gotten pretty adept at creating busy-ness for myself if for no other reason than to get out of the living room during the 6 o’clock news.
The holidays are about family and fellowship, sure, but sometimes, its about inner peace, contemplation, restorative quiet.