Well, it's that time of year again. At least at our house. It's Christmas. Disregard the 65 degrees outside and the fact that leaves haven't fully turned nor let go. Thanksgiving is still nine days away, but at the Duggan ranch, it's CHRISTMAS. I always tend to blame the premature celebration on my wife, but if the truth were known I am just as much at fault as she is. I have my XM dialed in to channel 103, the all sappy, all the time, Karen Carpenter and Johnny Mathis Christmas music station.
Around the house are less than gentle reminders of the holiday season that is already in full swing. Bright Christmas ornaments are twisted around the dining room light. The table is set with holiday dishes. Wreaths are hanging on mirrors and doors. The stockings are hung by sparkling Christmas package hooks across the mantle. A glass manger scene anchors one end of the shelf above the fireplace. Christmas pillows are slung on every sofa and chair. (A new one this year reads, "Dashing through the dough!" Very appropriate) I am, just this evening, going to break out the vintage 1960's Santa head with red cellophane wreath and hang it in the window of my study.
But, nothing says Christmas like an aluminum Christmas tree. Yes, bloggers and blogettes, I said aluminum. You know the tree that is festively illuminated by an electric color wheel. Well, at the Duggan ranch, we have two. Matter of fact, we've already burned the bulb out in one. It's awesome! An aluminum Christmas tree demands respect. It just jumps out at you when you walk into the family room. It refuses to be ignored as it changes from one magical color to another as the colored wheels spin off each flank.
You may think we have an aluminum tree just because I like to be different and somewhat rebellious. You are, of course, at least partially correct, but not entirely. Like many of you I come from a broken home. Christmas from age 10 and on was a little strained to say the least. Spending time with one parent in the morning and with the other in the afternoon. I longed for things to be the way they used to be. The way things were at my friend's house. Where mom and dad would wake the kids up and they would open presents together. After age 10 it was never the same. But before the divorce we had a great time at Christmas. We weren't well off...we couldn't even see "well off" from where we lived so toys were few and far between. I took the Christmas catalogs from Sears and J.C. Penney's and circled all the toys I wanted for that Christmas. One of them would be under the tree. Along with a new pack of tidy white underwear and a bag of tube socks there would always be that one toy. It would always be under that sparkling, ever changing, bright silver metallic Christmas tree. So forgive me for my "Ode to the Aluminum Christmas Tree", but lying underneath that tree brings back some of my happiest memories, and happy memories are too valuable to wait until after Thanksgiving to unwrap.
In His Shadow,