December 4, 2010 10:15:00 PM
Columbus certainly appears to be wrapped in the spirit of the season. It seems that yards are decorated a bit earlier this year. Chris and I got our tree up only a few days after Thanksgiving. This is my goal every year, but not always my reality.
By the time you read this I hope to have a pair of grapevine deer grazing in a field of golden branches in front of my house. (Say a prayer that Chris'' patience and his back hold out.)
My holiday wonderland may be a cross between something magical, and a display that is over-the-top tacky. It''s all a matter of perspective. The success of my décor depends on point of view ... and whether the local stores'' supplies of extension cords hold out.
I''m working on my gift list, and my personal wish list, as well. Sadly, my gift list gets shorter each year. These days, old friends move out of my life more often than others come in. Some leave physically, with vans and boxes, and promises to stay in touch. Some just evaporate, perhaps choosing more interesting companions. And others, well, I truly believe that there is a heaven. I will see those dear ones again some day.
On the other hand, my personal list just gets longer ... and much harder to fill. My husband is generous with sparkly treasures and thoughtful gifts. But, at this age, I am longing for the sort of things that don''t fit easily under the tree.
I would like to have one more conversation with my mother. This is our first Christmas without her. I made it through her birthday, but for some reason Thanksgiving was more difficult. I misplaced her fab recipe for sweet potato soufflé and had to wing it from memory. For now, I''ll just blame my bit of melancholy on the loss of that recipe.
I wish for peace for us all, and especially for our brave soldiers so very far away. May they all come home soon -- and forever.
I worry that the crime rate has gone up here and want it to go down. I suppose that would happen if there were less poverty, less profound need. It seems that the gulf between affluence and lack grows wider. Education is the best way to combat the distress of destitution. That may be too big a problem to tackle.
I will try to work on less weighty issues, like homeless animals. No one can save them all. However, a small donation to the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society would help. They need pet food, blankets, leashes and, of course, money. Your time as a volunteer would be welcome. But, most of all, these little angels are longing for a forever home. They will thank you with a ton of unconditional love. I promise!
I am getting such pleasure from this year''s Christmas tree (another homage to our questionable taste). Every year Chris and I give each other an ornament. This is usually something symbolic of the year, like our pets'' first Christmases, or the year we bought our first house. This year I gave him a red orb with a fleur de lis over a gold crown, because he is my king. The tree has no color coordination, no theme or plan -- just a sort of Christmas pink flamingo, so very beautiful to us alone.
I hope you all have fun shopping, and wishing, and enjoying your décor. Who cares if your design choices would mortify Martha Stewart? I am sure they will bring you joy. And that''s worth sharing.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.