Supposed to get some flurries today maybe . . . in Northern NB, not here. I’m disappointed. Oh well. Yesterday I was reminded of Christmas past. I get my procrastination from my dad I think. My dad is a huge procrastinator. Monumental! This likely had more of an effect on my childhood than my younger sisters because when I was growing up my mother hadn’t yet stepped into her full potential, hadn’t really started doing things herself. So there were things that just didn’t get done because my dad never got around to doing them and other things that never got done until very late. Rather than get a Christmas tree herself (which she would totally do now) it was my father’s responsibility to get a tree and being the greatest procrastinator of all time he would wait until the last possible moment.
Back then we didn’t buy Christmas trees, we went into the woods and chopped one down. And so it came to pass that every Christmas Eve, long after dark, Dad and I would be in the woods back Dungarvon, Cains River or Lockstead with the flashlight and the axe, usually wading snow up past my knees, sometimes during a blizzard, searching for the perfect tree. It was an exciting and frustrating activity. I was more inclined to just take whatever we stumbled across first, but Dad still wanted to get the prettiest tree he could find. So the process was long. And in the dark, you couldn’t really tell what you got until you got it home.
In early years the whole family would go on these excursions, I remember Mom and Sherry being in the car, maybe Jenn too as a baby in Mom’s arms in the front seat. And I don’t think it was left quite so late, but at the end it was just me and Dad on Christmas Eve. Each year returning with an even scragglier Charlie Brown tree than the Christmas before. It would be after 9 before we’d even get home with it and then the rush of bed lunches and Santa’s snack and getting off to bed. It would be after midnight before Mom would have the tree decorated. Us kids wouldn’t even see it until Christmas morning. I know it drove her crazy. It became a running joke in the family, about the Christmas Eve Holy (as in full of holes) trees that Dad and I would bring home.
I’m not sure when this practice came to an end. Probably when I got too old to go with him. I remember him bringing trees home from work with him. I think my boyfriend and his friends got Mom a tree some years. And likely Mom took to the woods herself when I was in high school and she started to look to Dad less for things. My mother got her driver’s license and went to work and became a different person after I graduated high school. I understand now that I was partly the catalyst. They needed more money to help me live in Toronto and stay in school. So, my sisters had a different mother for part of their childhood than the one I grew up with.
Mom got an artificial tree a year or so ago, but even before that she would buy a real tree weeks before Christmas. No more waiting until Christmas Eve. Her house is always decorated for the holidays weeks before the event and until after the New Year.
Drinking: coffee, cold
Listening To: Promiscuous Girl, Nelly Furtado with Timbaland