Deep-ish Thoughts, Holidays

Trimming the Tree

From the time I got married many years ago, I started collecting Christmas ornaments. The kids picked out a special new ornament every year, and within just a few years we had lots of precious keepsakes for the holidays. And then one year we accidentally put the garbage in the garage and the ornaments on the curb. We didn’t discover the mistake until the following year when we got set to trim the tree and found and that all we had was a bunch of garbage. All those Christmas memories, gone. That’s okay. It’s just stuff. We sniffed a bit and moved on. What other choice did we have?

Since then, we’ve slowly been accumulating new ornaments, but even after all this time our collection is nothing like it once was. Still, we’ve gathered some new favorites and most of the novelty ornaments have stories to tell and special places in our hearts.

Two of my favorites are my Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara ornaments. Yes, I know the book and movie are not politically correct. No need to tell me. I get it. And no, I don’t consider the book a romance. It’s not the love story that keeps me coming back. It’s the character study that puts this book (and the movie) on my all-time favorites list.

I’m fascinated by the insight into the personalities of Scarlett and Rhett, Melanie and Ashley. I’m spellbound by the damage Scarlett does to herself longing for what she can’t (and shouldn’t) have, and by the way she spends most of her life wanting to be something she’s not.

Yesterday, when we trimmed the tree, I looked all over for Rhett and Scarlett, but the Butlers were conspicuously absent. We looked and looked, but no Scarlett. No Rhett. Still, I held out hope that I’d find them. I knew I hadn’t thrown them away. I’ve been much more careful since the Year of Christmas Garbage. And besides, there are still two boxes in the garage that shouldn’t have Rhett and Scarlett inside, but might anyway, so hope was not lost.

This morning, I decided to move the toy box into the office so I could put the small tree on it in the front window. While doing that, I came across a box tucked inconspicuously into a corner. And inside? The elusive Butlers. Yay!

There’s no great object lesson here, but finding them made me very happy.

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