Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Quotes: The Christmas Ornament

I have previously shared a passage from the first Viola Shipman book I read, The Heirloom Garden. This passage comes from the latest book I read by the same author, The Secret of Snow.

The downstairs is one massive room: living, dining, kitchen all rolled into one. My mother was open-concept before open-concept was a thing. For years, this space was a playground. I could ride my wheelie bike round and round in circlees without ever having to go outside. I head into the kitchen.

A huge floor-to-celing fireplace made of Michigan lake stones of various shapes, colors and sizees fills the living room. I run my hand over the stones, cool and smooth.

And that's when I smell it before I even see it: a huge Christmas tree stands in the corner, soaring toward heaven. It's a Fraser fir, of course, my father's all-time favorite. We could never have any other kind for a Christmas tree.

"The perfect Christmas tree," my dad used to always say as we decorated. He loved its dark green needles and upturned branches, which showcased our colorful, vintage ornaments. He loved that it didn't drip its needles and that, when lit, the tree had almost frosty underlying glow.

But we all love the way it smelled, a fragrance that filled that house with a perfumed outdoorsy scent that could only be described as "Christmas".

The glass ornaments - so fragile, so pretty - are tucked into every crevice of the tree.

How long did it take her to decorate this? I think. It must've taken days. Who does she do this for anymore?

I crane my neck and look up

The star!

One year, Joncee and I were playing, and we rode our little bikes directly into the tree. It fell with a mighty crash, and my mother was nearly inconsolable as my father swept up broken ornaments that had been passed down by her mother and grandmother. Joncee and I retrieved the big pieces from the trash and made a giant patchwork star. It was like a Frankenstein ornament, but my mother thought it was beautiful.

She wept when we showed it to her, and placed it atop the tree every year since.

"It's like our hearts," she said. "Sometimes they get shattered, and we have to piece them back together and still shine for the world to see.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this book, although the romance wasn't really necessary or all that convincing.