Christmas Tree and Story

December 12th, 2009

tree copy 2
My little tree is a collage on plywood panels. The first layer is newspaper ads for gifts, then I spattered it with green and white paint. Ornaments and the angel are cut from cards from past years. Chains are silver.

I wish you beautiful holidays full of love and kindness and a happy new year.

Christmas (1930)

(This is a true memory about Grandma Alice and Mama who were loving, resourceful women. For me the story represents the real spirit of Christmas.)

That December was bleak. Every breath was icy and chilled the bones. The winter solstice had passed, Christmas was coming but Pete and Joe and I didn’t think that Santa would come our way. Mary was too little to worry about the possibilities. There was a fire in the big black stove and Mama had suggested some games to keep us busy while she went up to the big house to help Grandma. I was put in charge and hoped that for once my authority would not be challenged. On Christmas eve Mama said we should go to bed early and I argued that I didn’t think Santa would find us and that if he did there was no fireplace. She said that we kids should at least do our part by going to sleep just in case he did arrive. If we were still awake he probably wouldn’t stop. As it turned out, the next morning there was a little tree that hadn’t been there the night before and under the tree were presents. Grandma and Mama (Santa’s helpers) had been busy for weeks making a rag doll for Mary and all new clothes for my baby doll. The boys had fabulous muslin kites. There were new sweaters for all of us. Later on I discovered what a job the sweaters had been. Someone gave Mama some yarn, but it was a dull grayish brown. Grandma and Mama unraveled older sweaters and worked the bright colors into patterns as they knit the new sweaters that were beautiful and very warm.