The holiday season can be a sad, depressing, stressful time for some people. I found myself in one of those yucky moods this year after dealing with my son’s injury and recovery (of which we are still going through.) I had no desire or interest to decorate or put up a tree. I wanted to go to bed, pull the covers over my head, and wait for December to be over. But life doesn’t work that way.
We started going through the motions, including our annual outing to a local antique store, Vine Street Antiques. Our oldest collects antique Tonka trucks and our youngest collects vending machines, pocket watches and unusual lighters. Even my husband enjoys collecting antique light bulbs.
I scanned the store, assisting the boys with price checks and helping them with their decisions. I wasn’t really interested in looking for anything myself. Then I had a vague memory of a Christmas tree I had seen last year—something to do with photos of Hollywood Stars and antique cameras. I rushed up to Marcie, one of the owners, and told her about the tree I remembered and asked if she had any items like that. She got this huge smile on her face and squealed. That was their tree in the shop last year. She quickly started gathering items together to show me and telling her partner, Rusty, all about my remembering their tree.
We found a roll of 35mm film, film reels, cameras, glittery silver stars, and postcards of movie stars. As we gathered together these things, I started to overflow with excitement. My whole family loves the old classic stars and TV shows. It was something we could all relate with. If you ask my boys what their favorite movie is, they are apt to say, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” If you haven’t seen it, you should. Their favorite stars are Ethel Merman and Phil Silvers.
Anyway, we had a wonderful time at the shop and we were so happy to see Marcie’s dog, Louigi, again. He’s a rescue Greyhound and a sweetheart. We left euphoric and had just stowed our treasures in the back when Marcie rushed out saying they had more Christmas surprises for us. Rusty dashed out with a large flash they had used as the tree topper last year, another camera to hang as an ornate, and a couple of camera parts. They gave them to us and wished us a Merry Christmas. My heart overflowed with the Christmas spirit they had shown us. Are there really still shops like this? Are there really still people like this?
I felt like the Grinch whose heart grew three sizes that day!
Over dinner, we decided we wanted photos of our favorite classic movie stars to hang on the tree. Composing the list made me feel like we were inviting all of these marvelous friends to our house for Christmas. We kept going and going until I finally said we had way too many guests for the size of our tree. We rushed home and started picking and printing out black and white 3x5s. Later I made popcorn boxes from cardstock and taped them together while we watched Miracle on 34th Street. I also bought a beautiful red tree skirt to represent the red carpet.
On the weekend, we prepared snacks and punch, put on our favorite Christmas music, and began putting up the tree. We made popcorn to fill the boxes for the tree, stealing some for ourselves here and there! What a glorious day! And, what a treasure to look at each photo and remember a special movie, a funny scene, or a pleasant time we had together eating popcorn and watching a star-studded movie. I also found my mother’s old Brownie camera and placed it under the tree. Even it brought back many happy memories. It feels like all those loved ones who are on the other side are here with us also to share our Christmas.
I hope this post triggers happy memories for you and that you can somehow incorporate them into your holiday season this year. Find the joy in Christmas. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be a Hollywood tree. Fill your Christmas with happy thoughts and memories while creating new ones with your family.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense…and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at: www.dragonflyromance.com
P.S. In the video, can you find the dog pictured on our tree? If you can name him, leave YOUR name and email only in a comment, and I will enter you in a drawing for a free ecopy of Time Will Tell. Please do not name the dog in your comment.