“Christmas is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.” ~ Freya Stark
I remember it well. As a child, during the Christmas season, I felt like the ornaments that consumed my thoughts. The bubbling lights that sat clipped to our white feather Xmas tree brought me enormous happiness. And to think that our mother let us set up the tree, with branches that looked like extended angel wings, in the bedroom I shared with my twin sister, was more than I could have ever hoped for in life.
Night time couldn’t come too soon. I couldn’t wait for dark so I could lay in my bed and watch mesmerized, before I fell asleep, trying to figure out what made the liquid in the vials bubble and boil. Had my maternal grandparents, who had given us the tree and lights, filled the vials themselves? I’d heard of gold, frankincense and myrrh from Christmas stories. “Did the lights contain magic oil, liquid gold, frankincense or myrrh? Whatever that stuff was.” I thought. “Perhaps it was fairies flitting in the night, waving their wands over the tree that made the vials have movement.”
My sister was so lucky; she got extra peeks of the lights in the middle of the night. She often woke up hungry, so my mother packed her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every night, wrapped it in waxed paper, and set it beside the bed. When her stomach began rumbling, she’d eat the snack, and watch the lights on the tree. I was never hungry, so I missed out and slept through the night.
Just to look at an image of a Victorian white feather tree with bubbling lights, brings fulfilling memories flooding back. Do you have cherished childhood memories around holiday traditions that you could write about to preserve for your family.
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