How to Diagram a Christmas Sentence


This Christmas I’ve decided to focus on small details to stay happy.  Just a little extra effort to take a step back and notice the good ebbing and flowing around me.  So here goes on some positive thoughts:

1)  Isn’t it great that half the cookie cutters have been sold at Target?  Nice image that…

2)  Went to pick up my daughter at play auditions and I sat and stared at the school parking lot, bare trees fanning against the black night, orb parking lot lights hanging like stars,  houses lit up in the distance.  I thought about the families having dinner and imagined the conversations . . . how are your grades . . . I need to get the oil changed in my car. .  .we need to make this Christmas special, it may be Grandpa’s last. . .

3) I actually like bare trees.  I don’t find them depressing at all.  And you can see more birds.  The other day I walked out on my deck and male and female cardinals and two tufted titmouses just stared at me with bored expressions.

Let’s honor Christina Rossetti:

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

4) I usually decorate my house to the tunes of crooners.  Dean Martin, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett.

5) This month when I order hot chocolate, I’m treating myself to whipped cream.

6) I love going to Strange’s Nursery and gazing at the hectare of poinsettias stretched out as far as one can see.  Mother Nature’s Christmas quilt – all reds, whites, creams, greens, pinks; this would make one heck of a Pantone color.

7) Maybe Patsy Cline singing Christmas music isn’t so bad after all.

8) I’m going to go to the post office and be nice to everyone – even the woman in front of me with the 50 pound box marked Qatar.

There is a reason I work so hard to enjoy Christmas.  Seventeen years ago my mother died on New Year’s Eve after a long illness.  I still wear her clothes, jewelry, and every holiday I hang her ornaments on my tree and put the Neiman Marcus red velvet trees on the bureau in the front hall, her wooden German crèche in the dining room, a glass ornamented tree on my bedside table – the list is long as a yardstick.  I think about her a lot.  Is she watching over us?  Have I made her proud?  Does she know we still think about her and miss her so much?  After many years, I have finally reached the point where I don’t feel like I’m going to burst into tears the minute I walk into church and look at the altar because I miss my mother.

In memory of my mom at Christmastime.   


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