Friday, December 10, 2010

The Christmas Tree

This afternoon, after a mostly unrewarding day trying to talk to car dealers, we drove up into the Santa Cruz Range, and into the cloud cover that has blanketed our valley all day.  We were racing the sun, trying to get up "The Hill" before sunset.  We barely made it, and were very excited.  We drove through fog and rain, through dense forest, on winding single lane roads.  We sang Christmas carolson the way.  I was feeling grouchy, though.  It was difficult for me, even on this happy occasion, to be pleasant.  I could blame lack of sleep, a slight feever, sore lungs, and worry about work, but  none of those were the real problem.  The real problem was "the passions".  Only later, when we got home, and I began to be thankful, and to pray for my family did my grouchiness go away.  I still have a headache, a slight fever, and sore lungs but those don't have to make me a grouch.  Jesus was full of love, as ever he was, when the nails were pushing through his feet and hands.

When we got to the farm there was no one there.  But that was okay. They operate on the honor system.  Near the trees were some saw and a box in which to put money.  Athanasia picked out a white fir, I felled it, and tied it to the roof.  Anselm and Basil asked for a small tree for their bedroom.  We gave our assent and brought home the two trees, together with many scrap boughs with which to deck the halls.  The boys were soaked from running around in the dripping trees.  I was damp from the fog.  Driving down "The Hill" after dark with foggy windows from all the water in our clothes was not exaclty relaxing.

At one point we caught a glimpse of Silicon Valley through two peaks.  It isn't something we see at night very often.  The lights were beautiful.  Basil, at first, didn't believe me when I said that we lived down there.

When we got home we trimmed the tree and decorated it.  Isn't it interesting that I remember where we got every ornament?  The the largest single source was my parents.  I carried them out of their last home when my mother died.  Then there are the ornaments Athanasia and I bought after we were married.  And the ornamnets Athanasia and the boys made.  And finally, a few that were given to us as gifts.

We had mulled cider after the tree was put up.  And Athanasia and the boys worked on some Christmas presents they are making.  Then, I read to them.  Since my wife has, lately, been knitting mittens,  I read "The Mitten Tree".  And I read tonight's portion of "The Advent Story Book".  And at last I read to them a story from "The Animals' Merry Christmas".  They are all asleep in bed now.  I shall join them.  Good night.  Blessed Advent.


Jim said...

Sounds like a nice day with your family...Don't you hate when those "pesky" passions get in the way of a good day? I know I do! Cutting down your own tree is a great tradition!

Daniel J. Cassidy said...

A day of beautiful memories for your children. Thanks for sharing!