It was time! Time to put up the Christmas tree again. In the attic were cardboard boxes filled with Christmas ornaments, lights, and decorations. There were lots of them. In the middle of the hallway ceiling was a rope connected to a pull-down staircase. I pulled down the stairway, and Florida heat fell from the attic. My wife, Dottie, suggested I hand the boxes to her, but I quickly and ignorantly dismissed that idea, “I’ve got this,” I said to her.
Up the wooden staircase into the hot attic, “I’ve got this” kept replaying in my mind. There is no way I would concede that I needed her help. I pulled all the Christmas boxes through the opening in the ceiling, and it took several trips up and down the stairway. Finally, I pulled the last box from the attic. We had not looked in these boxes since our move from Ohio. We took them to the living room. Christmas music played on the cassette player, and our two young daughters helped us go through the boxes.
Our Christmas tree was an artificial one, and we followed the color code as we put the five-foot tree together. We checked all the boxes. Then we found it. It was a box marked homemade Christmas stuff. The girls had made some colored paper chains when they were younger, and we had saved them. They still looked good enough to put on our tree, and they were a good memory of Christmas past.
When we lived in Ohio, we had made some popped-corn garland. I remember it had taken us hours to string the popped-corn on a string. We had saved them, and we laughed as we unpacked them and remembered that night in Ohio. Then we noticed something.
We were not alone. The strings of popped corn had life. They were crawling with maggots. And by the time we noticed these creepy crawlers, our living room carpet was crawling with tiny white worms. It immediately gave us the willies. That night, the vacuum became a friend as we cleaned up the living room and threw out the popped-corn strings.
Yes, we decorated the tree that year, and we have often laughed at our first Christmas tree decoration day in Florida. Since that time, we have not been very fond of popped-corn strings. When we get together at Christmas each year, we share some of these stories as we enjoy being with those we love the most.