I love my little German feather tree.When I was a kid, minutes seemed like hours. My parents were strict in trying to build character and patience. For example, my sisters and I couldn't eat dinner unless we'd fed our animals, we couldn't dye Easter eggs until exactly 4 p.m., and we definitely couldn't open presents on Christmas Eve until ALL the dishes were done. The wait seemed excruciating. We older girls soon switched to paper plates for our traditional Dec. 24 dinner of hot cocoa and grilled cheese sandwiches!
With each passing year, time has seemed more fleeting. I try very hard not to get caught up in the hustle, bustle, and stress - and especially the overwhelming commercialization seen everywhere.
I used to put myself under tremendous pressure to decorate every corner of our house, dragging box after box of ornaments from the attic. I insisted on a huge tree which I then spent days decorating with hundreds of lights and an unending array of vintage baubles. Last year our tree was smaller, with less lights and a lot fewer decorations. Candles were in the windows and a wreath was on the door. That was it, and it was fine. Liberating, in fact.
It's just the two of us now, as our son is married and away. Holidays are very busy where he works, so we usually don't get to see him and his wonderful wife Christmas day. We hosted friends last year, kept it really simple and had one of our most relaxed Christmases ever.
I find it hard to believe we're just two weeks away from the big day once more. We've decided to help the homeless, the helpless and the hungry this year instead of getting crazy with all the stuff that doesn't really matter in the end.
A little German feather tree with very old ornaments is the only decoration in our home so far. It was an amazing SOR (side of road) find years ago. I'd gone to a yard sale where a fellow was selling the belongings of his late grandma. Thinking only new things had value, he'd piled old stuff on the curb. I picked up the box that had a few old lead icicles hanging out, went to a few other sales, had breakfast at The Athens (a 24-hour iconic Charlotte restaurant now gone) and then home before I took a peak. I was stunned to find not only the icicles, but two hand-blown German Santa ornaments and, way in the bottom, the smushed feather tree! To this day it is one of my very best SOR scores.