I guess we’re finally in the Christmas season now since Thanksgiving has come and gone, but it just doesn’t feel like it for me yet.
I’m barely out of my turkey and mac-and-cheese-induced coma, so I’m not exactly in the mood for Christmas cheer. Also, my mind has kind of been consumed with Senate elections and political rallies, and it’s hard to be particularly cheerful about that.
When I was a kid, I loved Christmas — I mean, I still do, but it’s just not the same. I loved everything about it. I loved spending time with my cousins I never got to see during the year, and I loved the mounds of presents I would get at each of the three stops I made on Christmas morning. I loved the food, songs and celebrations. I loved all of it.
But, it was never officially Christmas in my house until all of the decorations went up, though. My mom loved decorating the house, and she loved to deck the halls with wreaths, three trees and a number of nativity sets — I want to say it was about four. She loved decorating, but she didn’t like the cleanup as much, though. There were a number of times when she was “sick” and needed to rest when it was time to collect all of the ornaments. It seemed suspicious, but anyways.
My brother and I always made the cleanup part interesting.
One of my all-time favorite memories from putting up Christmas decorations was actually not that long ago.
My brother and I always had to store the boxes in the attic over my garage. There was this ladder that would pull down from the ceiling, and then he’d climb up and hand the boxes down to me.
I would always help him as he went up the ladder steps, stabilizing the ladder to make sure he didn’t fall.
But, I wasn’t always good at my job — my mind wanders, OK — and one day I had stepped away from the ladder while he was walking down the last box. I don’t know what I was doing, but I was probably playing with a dog — typical.
My brother had one final box to put up, and as he was climbing he started to shake the ladder. The ladder shifted up on its right side, and it came completely off the ground. He shifted his weight and fell backward the 5 feet or whatever to the ground, slamming into the closet door behind him in the process.
He rolled over on the ground with the box on his chest. He laid there motionless for a second, and I ran over to make sure he was OK. He called me a few choice names, and rightfully so. But, after we knew he wasn’t bleeding, we laughed for another 30 minutes.
He had a massive doorknob shaped bruise on his back for several days after that.
That’s something I miss since I moved away. We stopped decorating near as much after my mom passed, and slowly we started to remove the more extravagant pieces. We just have the one tree at home — last year it was the tiny Charlie Brown Christmas Tree — and I think we may have kept the nativities in storage.
Later tonight I’m planning to go home and hang this wreath at my apartment and drape Christmas lights around the staircase. I’ll maybe even bring in a little tree of my own. On Sunday, I’ll probably go back home to Gadsden and help my dad put up his tree.
My brother and I will help put out decorations, and I’m sure he will bring up the time he fell off of that ladder. He won’t let me forget it.
That’ll put me in the Christmas spirit, though.
Managing Editor Bradley Roberts’ column appears Wednesdays. His email address is email@example.com.