Some of you ( two maybe) may wonder....retro-tacky?!?!?!? why? So I will tell you, my son is from another marriage and we don't have him on Christmas every other year. It was hard on us as a family because we felt like we weren't complete. It was especially hard on my daughter, as her big brother hung the moon in her eyes. Well, at least when she was little, the teenage years have changed a few perceptions. So I tried to distract her by doing "themes" for Christmas. The first year was "White as Snow" so anything white or snow related was sought out or made or found. It became fun and something to look forward to. Then came "Nutcracker"," Peanuts", "red and gold, and so on. This year's inspiration was a tacky thing I found at the thrift store. Combined with memories of my Christmas past.
I, like many people my age, didn't grow up with perfect Christmases and coordinating colors. It was whatever, all thrown together, and covered with LOTS of tinsel. I love my mom but she was not an interior decorator or had an eye. She could bake the pants off anyone but when it came to that it was not her forte'.
If I only had a photo of her lime green polyester pants and pink shirt. To which I fondly remember, and I am sure my daughter will have similar memories of me.
It has also been 5 years since my dad died. It was a week after Christmas. The last time I spoke to him was the day before and we were talking about the present I sent him, 50lbs of bird seed sent by the nearest store so he didn't have to lift anything. I live on the other side of the country and hadn't been able to see him for many years. He never got to meet my daughter in person.
There's just a lot of stuff caught up in Christmas that's not always joyful. It's called life, and it can be hard.
So I tell you all of that so I can share this......As I was working on my tacky tree I realized I didn't have nearly enough ornaments! I had too many that were, well, tasteful. So off to the thrift store with a few bucks and a lot of prayer. Then as I came around the corner lo and behold a box full of them!!! As I was heading to the cash register with my treasure I looked down and saw some "old school" lights. The ones that will incinerate your tree if used? yeah those are the ones. I was giddy with excitement! I will use one strand for the mantle (the yellow,pink, white, and blue ones) and decided to figure something out with the red and green ones.
I was unwinding them, while talking on the phone. I thought the owners were pure genius for wrapping them around what I thought was a magazine. I got down to the end and started screaming!!! My friend on the line was fixing to get her car keys before I explained to her what was going on. What I thought was a magazine was actually a Sears and Roebucks sales ad. The date? December 24th 1969!!!!!! The retro found me!!!!!! I was delirious! Not only was that amazing, but one of the things advertised, was one of my Christmas presents when I was a kid.
Isn't that AWESOME!!!
I framed them.
I also have developed a great appreciation for all my parents did for me and my siblings.
The lights alone, took me forever to get this one strand up. Every time I separated them, they would swing back and get tangled again. The metal hooks attached to the lights might of had something to do with it.
The very last one was the comic page. It was full of comics no longer even spoken of, like Pogo, Andy Capp, Lil Abner, Dick Tracy, Mary Worth ahhhhh the flashbacks.
Last night I dug out some old pics with my niece and she found one of a Christmas tree when I was a kid. She held it up and look at my tree and said "It looks the same"
I smiled and knew I had achieved my goal.
Christmas means so much but bringing it all together, the laughter, the tears, the family and embarrassment, the good, the bad and the tacky. That's what will carry on, that's what it is to be loved.
So Merry Christmas to you all, may your prayers be answered, may you feel loved, and my your tree be tacky.