Shane’s Christmas

Since we’re usually travelling for the holidays, I don’t always put up the tree. This year there’s no excuse since we’re staying in town. So I’m feeling a little guilty about not dragging it out. Maybe I’ll do it.

Halfway through my childhood, my mom had stopped putting up the tree. She’d thrown it away maybe thinking we were too old for it, or maybe our house was too small, there were too many of us, and we were getting bigger. Not enough room?

One Christmas season after my mom left for work my brother Shane (about 14 at the time) said, “I’ll be goddamned if we’re gonna do without a tree again this year.” He grabbed a saw and asked, “Who’s coming?”

A couple of hours later, he came back with a six foot evergreen he and my little brothers had cut from the woods nearby. We made chains from construction paper, all sorts of glittery decorations and put that sucker in the living room. We surprised my mom to tears. The next day she took us to the store for some icicles and spray snow. We all thought the icicles made that tree look “store-bought”. Spray snow was newish and since we had never really seen much real snow in Louisiana, we went crazy with that stuff. Kept going back to the store for more and more snow. We sprayed everything. The tree. The windows of the house, the car windows, each other…

I have to admit. That was my favorite Christmas ever because of Shane’s damn tree and all the fuss we made over it. It was the first time I ever saw my mom get the Christmas spirit. Years later around Christmas time I had an appendectomy and Shane brought me a gift, a little potted Christmas tree. It was about 8 inches tall with little tiny decorations on it. It was so special to me I saved all the little ornaments, still have them. This was about 20 years ago.

This will be our first Christmas without Shane, he died a couple of months ago. I think I will put up my tree and dig out those tiny ornaments.

Edited Note: Toward the end of writing this, I had some big shiny tears splashing down into my lap. They looked like melting icicles.

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10 thoughts on “Shane’s Christmas

  1. You’re so lucky and blessed to have those beautiful memories of Shane to remember. Christmas, though on a cold month, is almost always so warm and soothing in our hearts. May these ornaments stay with you for the next twenty years.. and the next… and the next…

  2. Thanks for reading you guys. I have so many goofy memories that I just love.

    And for all the tree huggers out there, Shane did plant about 20 or so trees in his own yard when he grew up. He loved nature.

  3. Oh, you’ve made my eyes leak.

    And when I found this quote in Progressive Farmer yesterday, I had no idea why I went to the trouble to copy it. I just knew I should:

    “A man has made a start on discovering the meaning of life when he plants shade trees under which h knows full well he will never sit.”

    Merry Christmas, Shane.

  4. Dancinfairy, I sure do love that screen name. Thanks for stopping by.

    Thanks for the quote, Pooks. That reminds me, I need to stop by his old house next time I am in town and get a look at those trees.

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