Maybe 20 years ago or so, Ms. SpoolTeacher’s Aunt sent her a box from Boston for Christmas. In it was this charming little Hallmark Bear Family. It has batteries and flickers a red fireplace light. She puts it out every year, if nothing else comes out, it does.
(the red mesh tree is one of the three each of her sister’s and she inherited from their childhood)(the purple tinsel tree a friend sent her because she knew she loved purple and aluminum trees).
That Christmas, Ms. S.T. set the Bear Family in her bedroom window sill. She lived in a little tiny apartment then and that window was her dreaming window.
Her apartment was on the second floor and that window was wide and overlooked her little town and the distance beyond. Her little town was up on a terrace and she could see the lights from several cities surrounding her. There were trees in the neighbors yard that grew up to her window and offered lush greenery along with all the other older growth trees dotting her well established neighborhood farther out in the distance.
She lived in that little apartment for 20 years. It was very small, but just right. It was kind of a nest, because she was really on the go most of the time; flitting here and there. She learned a great deal about organization and utilizing space. She must have rearranged that little apartment 1,500 different ways as the years progressed.
It has been said that a person who spends Christmas alone is “really alone”.
Ms. SpoolTeacher has spent many Christmasses “alone”. She has found that being that alone is a truly memorable time. “It is acute. It makes one acutely aware of what one is feeling. If you can get through it, it is rewarding.”, she says.
One year she had received several presents in the mail. That year she was alone again. Christmas day she put on her presents from friends; a pair of knitted slippers, a scarf, a Santa T-shirt and whatever other clothes she liked that gave her comfort and a sense of well-being and got in her car. She looked rather like a bag-lady. She didn’t care. She was being true to her self.
She stopped at the local gas/market and fueled up with goodies, drinks and gasoline. She was especially aware of all the others out and about on Christmas Day. She was especially gracious to the workers who had the duty of tending the till that day and then felt a little guilty for making them work. She greeted everyone and talked to whomever wanted to talk. She wasn’t really alone. And everyone was so nice.
She drove and drove all through her emotions. She went to places that gave her comfort. She drove out to her childhood home and went through the streets reminiscing about childhood Christmasses past; riding bicycles, running up to neighbor’s homes to see what each other had gotten, playing in the streets or dolls inside…
Driving always (as her mother would say), “cleared the cobwebs” in her mind.
By the time she would arrive home, she would have cried over many things. And had laughed a good bit too. She had felt sympathy, empathy, joy, sadness, tranquility, peace and comfort. It had been a very good day.
She has had to learn over and over again “therewith to be content” and has found great rewards to just being with GOD, Jesus, and the Spirit within, not so all alone on Christmas Day.
[Purple-haired Ann with her vintage Whitman’s Chocolate Sampler Elf (chocolates missing…) sitting by Ms. SpoolTeacher’s favorite vintage aluminum Christmas tree with original blue bulbs and assorted vintage sequin ornaments and favorite contemporary selects…]
[“Deck the Halls” and windows too…]
She’ll never tell how much she had to pay for that vintage aluminum tree, but it came with the original box; apparently someone else had scarfed it up at a yard sale for $2! The color wheel and motor were part of the deal too.
Ms. SpoolTeacher always has some “tinsel” of Christmas up around throughout the year. The material boo bobs are a constant reminder, to her, of the deeper ChristMass celebration that she wants to keep foremost in her cobwebbed mind. Although Christ most likely would not have celebrated his birth, and green or aluminum trees are mostly an exploitation of Americanism for conspicuous consumption; she believes it is none the less a great opportunity to remember a birth event that gave the World a chance to change, unlike any other event in history.
[Ms. S.T.’s very first “netted” ornaments.]
[Ms. S.T.’s original childhood Christmas gift (vintage) Chatty Cathy doll (chatting with Purple Ann on the other side of the room), sporting houndstooth “baby shoes” and “doggy cap” (dog ear holes fit her pigtails just right!)]
One of Ms. SpoolTeacher’s favorite friends lately saw her original “sleeve-it-to-me” “haute handbag” and wanted to pay Ms. S.T. to make her one. Of course it is terribly hard to charge a friend for anything, (let alone try to assess the dollar value of 10+ hours of love labor) but better, it was a wonderful opportunity to create something she might delight in and surprise her for Christmas.
Christmas might be “alone” again, maybe not? One never knows. Either way, Ms. SpoolTeacher is happy, content therewith. She had an invite to travel to California with a friend, but there is always the Little Red-Haired Girl to tag along and some friends aren’t especially dog friendly.
Things don’t always end up as planned.
Especially if you sleeve it to Ms. SpoolTeacher. She’s kind of fickle.
It’s not supposed to be cold in S. Arizona.
All she wants for Christmas is a wood burning stove!
[Succulents, a gift from Nouveau Wreath.]
And Merry Christmas Ms. Nouveau Wreath!