BLENDED FAMILY CHRISTMAS TREE
Blended families are everywhere
And ours is like so many others
Your kids blended with mine
My stereo, your TV, and bits
Of furniture from my house,
Some from yours
And all now in our house.
It is the same in every room,
In every life.
Blending our things, blending our pasts,
Most of all this mixing has been easy.
This fit, that didn’t
Little even needed a discussion.
Oh, yes, there was a treasure or two
That did not seem to be cherished by all
But those were few. Most just fit from the start.
Even our lives.
Now it is our first Christmas. Well, our first
As a family.
We had one last year as things were growing close
But we were not yet as one.
This year, it is our Christmas.
And so we blend our Christmas decorations,
All the traditions and, of course,
Find traditions of our own.
But one thing I can’t see to blend.
And that is your Christmas Tree
The tree itself is no big deal.
We went and selected a live tree
And while that was not done in a way
That I would have chosen, it was not a big deal.
Nor was the fact that the tree is live (or was)
And I would just as soon have an artificial one.
No, the difference is almost in an essence of Christmas
A secret meaning, a living memory.
You told me that you did away
With all those mix-matched ornaments
That you used to use.
Now you just put matching balls
Just like they have at the mall,
At all the department stores in their sterile displays.
Pretty, yes, but so empty.
I have a problem with Christmas.
Maybe because it used to mean so much
And now all those I shared it with
Are mostly gone.
But there are still the memories,
Good and bad.
There is a memory in a little red horse ornament
That my father bought and used to quiet crying kids
On his knee when he played Santa.
And I have an old glass one in a very unusual style
That was my grandmothers.
I have a wooden soldier that jumps
When you pull his string.
I bought it for my first tree away from home.
There are several that came from a kit
My girls painted when they were so small.
I have some that have dates on them.
There are a lot from old friends and from old trees
Of long ago.
No one ever loved Christmas
More than Mother
And I have a lot of ornaments that used to hang
On her tree.
It is so hard to believe that it has been eleven Christmases
There are dozens of good memories in so many
Of those little bits of glass, plastic, or wood.
There is probably not a one
That does not bring back a particular Christmas
Few of them match in color or style,
But they all have the same appeal.
In one, I can see the reflection of my mother’s blue eyes.
Another still smells of my father’s cigarettes.
One, I know was once held by my brother
Gone since I was nine and he was seven.
My Christmas tree would never make it is a department store
Window, but it is alive
It is bright with the lights of Christmases past.
That is Christmas to me.
The family part of Christmas.
The joy of the Lord’s birth is in a realm on its own.
I am speaking of the family, the blended family now
And the memories of all the Christmases past
Blended with the Christmas to be.
I think of all the trees those ornaments have hung upon.
All the gasps of joys they heard.
All the hugs they saw.
All of the last Christmases with this one or that.
And all of the times
They heard “Silent Night”
My tree is always covered with these bits of the past.
These Christmas joys.
They make Christmas alive to me.
And bring home so many who have been gone so long.
I look at my tree and know they are in the room.
I can stare at that tree and smell the powder my Mother wore.
And sometimes feel the way she hugged me
When it was time to go.
I can hear my father laugh.
I can hear my little ones’ glee as the wrapping paper flew.
I can hear the years fall away
And just for a moment, can still be there with them all
For a moment
Just for a moment.
I see it all in the lights of my tree
With memories hanging from every branch.
N. Lauderdale, FL