Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Tree, O’ Christmas Tree

So the tree is up. Oddly enough it’s in the kitchen. Our townhouse has three floors and the only place with a large window that faces the street is our kitchen. So this past weekend we rearranged the dining table out of the breakfast nook and set up our tree.

This is generally a rather interesting event in that neither my SO nor I are mechanically inclined. But I don’t want to gripe about the hassles of decorating or the potentially enormous electric bill that will have us cringing at the end of the month.

I want to talk about ornaments. For more years than I was aware I was doing it, I’ve added ornaments to the collection that had meaning to me for the year. This means our tree is a hodge-podge of decorations rather than one of those neat, elegant and perfect “theme” trees with its matching baubles and bows. But unwrapping each of the odd little trinkets brings a special memory and that makes it my favorite part of the holiday season.

On the tip of one branch hangs a gold toy train inscribed with the word “Robbie”. We don’t have children, so our nieces and nephews are very important to us. This tiny gold train marks the memories of my first adult Christmas when I bought cheap $1 ornaments at WalMart and had them inscribed with the names of my darlings. Robbie is the oldest of my siblings’ children. First born and hasn’t stopped going since. He was a born athlete, a charmer and a funny boy who grew into a funny man. When his picture used to grace my desk at school, my students remarked on his resemblance to Adam Sandler. He does look like him, only I think Robbie is funnier. The little snip is now 25 years old and has made me a great-aunt. I shall have to think of a suitable revenge. Perhaps spoiling his little girls will do.

On another branch hangs a gold and red frame bearing the words, “Our First Christmas”. We hung this ornament on our tree the first year we shared a single home and a single tree. I look at the date on it and sometimes wonder that it is so long ago, and yet just as often wonder that it is such a short time that has passed. I think about my SO meeting my family for the first time. On the day of our wedding. We held it at my parents’ home and the room was full of at least 50 members of my family. My poor darling was limited to just one old friend. It seemed Illinois was too far from Florida for anyone else to make the trip. Some day I’ll tell you about my family. Just remember, these are the people with the inflatable snowmen and who stapled themselves to the roof of their house.

One of the most bittersweet ornaments on the tree is a small black lab puppy with angel wings. This ornament marked the first Christmas in over eight years that I spent without my faithful Wallie. Big for a member of her breed, Wallie was gentle, loving and patient. When my life fell apart several years ago, I found myself divorced and alone except for Wallie. She stayed with mom and was my reason for getting out of bed, my reason for making myself pay attention. I never had to use a leash with her after we moved, the two of us, into the small one bedroom apartment. She wasn’t about to let mom get too far away. Shortly after I met my SO, I was in a rather serious 5 car pile up on I75 north of Atlanta. It was the Friday before Memorial Day, so traffic was very intense. Wallie was in the backseat and it was in this accident, I lost my dear friend. So the little pup with angel’s wings reminds me of her each year as I hang it on my tree.

This year’s addition is a happier one. This year’s addition is The Frog Prince.

Froggie is a sweet green frog sitting on a brightly wrapped package, holding a glittering engagement ring behind his back. Why this one? Because this is the year I sold and published my first romance novel…my first novel period. And this is the year I became a Froggie. My Cerridwen Press editor maintains a group for the writers that work with her called the Frog Pond. And we happy little writers are the froggies.

So the frog prince sits on my tree. A hot cup of tea in hand. And yes, my dear editor, my behind is in my chair and my fingers are on the keyboard.




Do You Like Good Book? The count-down is on to:

Do you want to win some fantastic holiday reading? If so come celebrate the Twelve days of Romance with 12 authors from Ellora's Cave, Wild Rose Press, Total-E-Bound and Cerridwen Press. Each day beginning December 8th and running through December 19th one of the twelve authors will tell what their "True love gave to them" on either their blog or website.

Collect all twelve answers and e-mail them to anny@annycook.com with 12 days of Romance in the subject line to win some great books. There will be three lucky winners. The prizes –
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All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.
Participating Authors/Books offered for Prizes:
Anny Cook Winter Hearts
Sandra Cox Boji Stones
Bronwyn Green Ronan’s Grail
Heather Hiestand Cards Never Lie
Barbara Huffert Deal of a Lifetime
Amarinda Jones Mad About Mirabelle
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Cindy Spencer Pape Cowboy’s Christmas Bride
Brynn Paulin Fallen
Jacquéline Roth Access Denied
KZ Snow Mrs. Claws
Lacey Thorn Earth Moves


Bronwyn's Blog said...

I love trees that are full of memories - they're kind of like giant charm bracelets.

Hugs to you - I got really choked up when I read about Wallie. I love your froggie ornament - glad we're in the same pond. :)

Amarinda Jones said...

Love the frog. the best I can do frog wise is a 40 kilo cement frog in my backyard called Maurice. He does not say much but I feel he is way too comtemplative to worry abotu the trivia of mortal lives

anny cook said...

I love the froggie. Gonna find one for mine own self before Christmas. You're absolutely correct, the frog says it all!