In our lengthy holiday season crammed full of baubles and jingles and merry Kris Kringles, I am admittedly a bit of a humbug, a Christmas crank even. But even my frosty heart, several sizes too small, looks forward to the sentimental things of Christmases past.
Years ago, I inherited, aka swiped, the box full of Grammie James’ tiny Christmas bulbs. There they were stuffed under tarnished garland and beside a decade’s supply of tinsel looking and even smelling just like Christmas decorations did when I was a little girl – plastic and old cardboard.
This year, as time seems to speed up, I decided to photograph those bulbs to capture their holiday sparkle and maybe even find mine. Out into the snow we went! You see, I can do sentimental, but I can’t do precious. Neither did Grammie James. She’d be surprised these bulbs were still around, that someone hadn’t dropped them or tossed them out. Here they are in all their shabby, vintage, frostiness.
Christmas, when taken in its mad entirety, holds little joy for me, but when I approach the season in small, enjoyable bits, Christmas is a nice bump in the road before the long, cold, icy slog to Spring. Perhaps that is how Grammie James approached the holiday. The story goes that she was notorious for finally getting the tree up and decorated late on Christmas Eve. A creature may not have been stirring, but I hear she was still wrapping and pulling it all together as the reindeer landed on the roof. Santa would just have to deal with it, Alice wasn’t going to change.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, and as Irving Berlin wrote in 1942, “May your days be merry and bright…”