It’s strange this year to begin the holiday stuff without Catherine to help — or at least supervise the effort.
After returning her to Hofstra last Sunday, Basil and I set to work getting the outdoor decorations arranged. It’s clear that the oversized candy canes and family of deer are on borrowed time, 15 years of winter weather having taken their toll.
No matter. The little guy next door couldn’t wait to see them. He ran all over the yard, index finger outstretched, calling to his dad to “look, look!” And then tried to ride the deer!
Tomorrow we will traipse down to the congregational church to choose our tree, hoping to buy before they run out. We’ll leave the decorating for Catherine’s return home, however.
Earlier this week, I caught some of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” another tradition that feels a little hollow without Catherine next to me on the couch helping to recite the dialogue.
Like the Peanuts gang, our tree will be of the Charlie Brown variety, continuing another long family tradition.
Which brings me to this week’s flashback — 1979. I was 13 and for reasons I can’t quite remember (Mom, a little help?) we had perhaps one of the saddest trees ever.
Just look at it.
For reasons I also don’t remember, it seems I decorated the sucker solo, or at least the photo album would have you think so. …
… Except for the special touches at the end that only Mom was allowed to do.
In the end — natch — it turned out fine. It just needed a little love.