That, of course, would be the annual opening of the boxes of Christmas decorations...
The must of the old newspapers in which the ornaments are wrapped, the lights a tangle of wire and plastic, everything hurriedly wrapped and put away the previous January, the boxes lying for eleven months dark and cold in the back of the closet, the pang of joy when I plug in the lights and my palm jumps with tiny flames: electric blue, ruby red, burning white.
The crèche from
The teardrop bulb—sea blue and hot pink stripes—I bought at Yoken's gift shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire the summer I stayed with Cousin Dickie at the beach house, the Guatemalan dough ornaments I bought on Water Street in Exeter one afternoon on my lunch break, the 3-D stars our Koreatown neighbor Michael made out of brown and gold gift wrap the year he died of AIDS, the Victorian decoupage balls I found in Little Tokyo, the two glossy green bunches of fake cherries I brought back from Cholula, Mexico, the lights I got at an after-Chrismas sale at the Thrifty's on Wilshire before it merged with Rite-Aid and moved to Vermont sometime after the divorce.
A history of the places where I have lived, the countries from which I have been granted a safe return, the stream of family and friends who have buoyed me up, borne me along, given me the strength to endure.
|sparkly Christmas paper bag |
made by my nephew Allen
The Advent calendar I bought at the 99-Cent Store several seasons back. December 1st: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light..."