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Ennis Daily News

Christmas trees, good memories

Secret Santa was particularly kind to me this year by giving me a replacement Christmas tree.
Spending so much time trying to intentionally misspell words on the gift cards and tags for my own Secret Santa subject meant there was little time to flex the old gray matter on who might be sending the gifts my way. That’s the perfect way to do it — incognito.

Ad representative and Ennis character Charity Cihak turned out to be my benefactor, with her daughter running a screen on me by filling out all of the gifts and cards so I couldn’t resort to handwriting identification tactics.

What she did for me, though, was provide me with a great gift. I erred when I asked for a vague gift of picture frames (which I found out later my wife had no interest in receiving, as she has enough), so the fallback crutch written on my Secret Santa slip as “Christmas trees” became the best option for Charity. She really went all out.

She had to have burned the $10 limit in just tissue paper for the massive gift bag, and people around here at the EDN definitely took notice of the production that was my Secret Santa gift.

I now have a three-foot tree complete with fiber-optic, light-up tree tips to share with my Mom and Dad, who are telling me they’re coming to town this Christmas, much to my deep satisfaction — I have them to thank for my love of the Ole Tannenbaum.

For me, there’s a lot of meaning in a good Christmas tree, ­­­­and being an apartment-dweller means having a manageable one.

Some of my fondest Christmas memories come from the time spent around the tree with my family, who are now far enough away to be extremely inconvenient for us to get together, even for the holidays.

There is a box somewhere in the attic of my parents’ new house where all of the ornaments my brother and I made through our school years live. That box is worth its weight in gold to my mother. Probably more than that.

Of course, there was the year that the cat pulled the tree over in the living room during a top secret investigation of the inner workings of the Christmas lights and tinsel. House cats have special assignments from the Feline Bureau of Investigations during Christmas time, you see.

There’s also the gigantic tree that my parents erected in our living room the year our old house was part of a historic tour of Shreveport, La. The antique tree topper scraped the 12-foot ceilings, and this Christmas tree’s wingspan was big enough to almost block the entrance into the living room. But it was beautiful, one that will always be in my memory.

My wife and I have, for several years now, been working with a little one-foot jobby that we got at JCPenney on sale for $5. It served us, as we are at a stage in life where the best gifts we give each other at Christmas don’t fit under a tree anyway. Our cats enjoyed it, to be sure, and it was too shaggy to really put back out this year. I’ve had to make sure to keep this new faux fir out of reach of my cats, and we’ll see how that goes.

Here’s to hoping you’re putting together your own memories around the trees in your home. I know I will be this year. Merry Christmas all.

Nick Todaro is the editor of the Ennis Daily News. He can be reached at nick@ennisdailynews.com.

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Posted by on Dec 16 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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