I suppose since I call myself a writer I ought to jot down a few words significant to the season upon us. Whether or not they’re really of any significance is, of course, completely subjective, in most respects anyway. This is my 21st Pennsylvania winter since moving from Kentucky in 1988. And we’ve had the same artificial Christmas tree for 17 of those winters. (I consider that to be quite significant.) It’s easy to put up, don’t shed needles, and when you add the aroma of a pine-scented candle, you can’t even tell it’s fake.
But real trees have their advantages too. Especially if it’s a family thing and y’all go cut your own. I remember once when my brother and I trudged up a big hill to reach a little pine forest where we cut our own tree. It was out in the country, not one of those cut-your-own tree farms where you have Christmas music blarin in your ears and a salesperson hands you a dull bow saw to use, and you look so out of place holdin it that people notice. No, the place we cut our own tree was rarely visited by anyone else, I’d go so far to say that no one ever went there but us.
We used to shoot mistletoe out of the tops of trees. I can’t say for sure if I’ve ever seen it growin in trees here. It’s a parasitic plant, and can’t grow on the ground, it uses the tree’s sap for sustenance. Odd how we humans chose it to be the Christmas “kiss me” plant. But we’re an odd bunch anyway, Mother Nature sees it in us all the time. If you’d like to read more about the parasite, click here.
So, what am I getting for Christmas? Rest. Since becoming a school bus driver, I’ve had to rise at 5:30 am, Monday through Friday, for the past four months. I know a lot of y’all are used to it, but I wasn’t. So, all I want for Christmas is to sleep till around 8:00 in the mornin, till January 4. (I know socks and underwear are also being received, it really wouldn’t be Christmas without those two items, now would it boys?)
These are material things; socks, skivvies, sleep (not really material per se), iPods, cell phones, mistletoe, and all kinds of other stuff we ask for at this time of year. What about that other thing that Christmas is supposed to represent? Jesus. If he were physically with us today, what do you suppose he’d think of all this? What would he say? You know what I think? I think we’d remind him of mistletoe. Don’t take it personal, I don’t think Jesus does.