Each year I wrap the ornaments with care

And put them back in their boxes.

Then they go off in the garage or in storage

Somewhere out of the way.

There are almost always a few new ones

That become part of the memories.

They are packed beside the old glass one

Painted bright blue with a silver indention.

Mother always put that one on the tree

It belonged to her mother

And once

When I was little I remember

Seeing the reflection

Of her blue eyes in the silver.

There are the little flat wooden ones

Covered with tempera paint

And names of my little girls

Written when they were so small.

In the same boxes

Are a couple that belonged to my father

That may be a little yellowed and still smell of Pall Mall.

Dozens of others are there

Each with its own memory, each with its dust

Of Christmases past.

Packed away each year

Until the months roll back around to that time again.

But the years roll by, too

Leaving some behind, taking some away

Some no longer here to decorate the tree

Or blow away the dust of Christmases past.

Alive only in the memories that hang from the tree.

Some ornaments are hard to hang

Or touch

“Can I hang that one, Dad?’

“Yes, but be careful with it. . .”

And I tell of who that one belonged to or what

Memories it may hold.

Not all the memories, for not all of them come

Without a price.

Those are for late at night

When everyone else is in bed

The young ones dreaming of the presents to come

When I sit alone and look at the tree.

All the other lights off

And I think about this one and that one.

I remember

And for just a few minutes try to touch

Those that I loved

I reach for those memories

And I always find them

Usually through tears

But I can hear the voices, the laughter

And sometimes even feel the touch

And smell the scents

Of Christmases past

Of loved ones past

And I know it is okay to cry

For just a minute

All alone.

For I need to wash the memories a bit.

Christmas is not supposed to be a time of sadness

It is a time of joy

And love

So I take this time alone

While the house sleeps

To be alone with the memories

Alone with those I miss so much

Tonight is their time

Our time

Tomorrow I will don the Christmas spirit

And be happy

I’ll try to spread the joy of Christmases past

And maybe help make memories

That will go back into the Christmas boxes

To be opened in the years to come.

But tonight

I look into an old painted glass ornament

And try to see bright blue eyes

I listen close and try to hear

The voices, the laughter, the joy

And try to catch a scent

To find things I miss in the dust

Of Christmases past




N. Lauderdale, FL

12:32 PM