How could my mother do it, do it at Christmas? She hung the stockings, baked the cookies, wrapped the gifts, even placed baby Jesus in the manger. And then, she did it, smack dab in the middle of the living room! She put up a silver aluminum Christmas tree.
I hated that tree. It was not festive, fragrant or full. Worst of all, it was not green!! I was convinced Santa would take one look at it and, fearing high levels of radiation, shoot right back up the chimney. My brother, Joe, hated that tree more.
Since my father’s mechanical ability was limited to changing a burnt out light bulb, the job of assembling the tree fell to my brother. Joe was blessed with a methodical mind and a plethora of patience. On or about December 1, Joe began his work. He opened a large cardboard box and faced 642 individual branches of curled foil that fit into one, and only one, spoke on a spindly trunk. On or about December 24, Joe finished his task. [Read More…]