One More Package
(As printed in the Houghton Lake Resorter – MUSINGS OF A HOMEMAKER)
The pine tree stands in the corner, colorful but lonely. Gaily wrapped gifts no longer gather beneath its branches. The sweet smell of pine is no longer in the air.
Shiny bicycles and curly haired dolls have disappeared from view.
Our annual celebration of the birth of Christ has filled expectations.
Glittering and once lovely wrappings lie crushed in empty cartons awaiting the end of their usefulness. Under the tree lies a ribbon of red reminding us of our passion for loving. Nearby lie wrinkled bows; blue for the richness of living, gold for the bright rays of learning, and green for the promise of new life in the coming year.
Mixed emotions now wrap our package of memories; sadness and laughter, hope and regret, faith and tenderness, and a colorful memory of the quickly fleeting twelve months.
1963 has flown away as swiftly as hummingbird’s wings, never pausing for more than a fleeting moment to enjoy the sweet nectar provided by the flowers of life.
The coming year offers twelve unfolding months to store new gifts. Once more, at the end of the new year, we will have a treasure of memories both happy and sad.
We’re starting anew. The final design will be original and personal and full of twists and turns with colorful hues shading the months ahead with a rainbow of memories.
Gracious living to you and yours in the new year of 1964.
The sweet smell of pine can always be purchased in a spray can from the store.
The artificial tree is stored in a box to be retrieved from the storage room each December. There are no pine needles to be vacuumed and no shiny bicycles on display. There are no more snowy excursions to the nearby woods to look for the perfect tree which must be evenly proportioned on at least three sides.
We can always turn the flat side toward the window.
We now delight in flannel shirts and an occasional bottle of after-shave. Perhaps there will be a sweater for me and a current book I’ve been thinking about.
In a few moments the gifts are unwrapped and the shirts are checked to make sure they will fit the intended one. Paper and bow must be carefully folded and used again next year.
The grandchildren are in their early thirties now but determined to spend Christmas morning with Grandpa and Grandma. Our Christmas morning tradition is to have breakfast together and open our gifts.
We now have daughters-in-law and a grandson-in-law and a granddaughter in-law.
It’s a happy time.
We once gave our 6-year-old granddaughter a goat for Christmas. Recalling her expression when she found “Peppy” in a special pen in the barn with a big red bow tied around his neck, brings a sweet memory each year.
We’re starting anew.
Life has become more precious as each year passes. The future is shorter and the past went by too quickly.
Life is good!
Tomorrow is Christmas.
Awaiting the morning, there are new memories to be made.
My husband and a son have passed on to another life. I’m blessed with two great-granddaughters to love and enjoy in the coming years.
A small artificial Christmas tree stands proudly before the East window. Sixty years have passed in this wonderful old farm home where memories are enjoyed every day.
Memories Are Made From This
Photographs By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck