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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Black Christmas Tree

My Father's family had a tradition. Each family member had a different color that they would use to decorate their tree. One had gold, one red, one green, one blue, and so on. I remember our color was blue and for years we had all blue lights, blue glass balls, and blue ornaments. This changed gradually, as traditions do, until all the colors were represented, but the Christmas tree of my childhood was mostly blue.

My Aunt Bonnie's color was silver.

My Aunt Bonnie is the character of the family. An amazing artist, and even more amazing person, I grew up with stories of AUNT BONNIE. I heard how when Mother Goose created the nursery rhyme "There was a little girl, who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good, she was very very good, but when she was bad, she was HORRID." she was actually writing about my Aunt Bonnie. I did not doubt the truth of it.

One Christmas, before I was born, my Dad's family had a Christmas Eve party at my Aunt Bonnie's house. True to form, my Aunt Bonnie threw a great party. She had decorated spectacularly. The centerpiece of it all was the Christmas tree- all in silver with white lights. And to emphasize the silver, my Aunt Bonnie had flocked the tree. In black. It was literally a black Christmas tree- straight out of the pages of a Halloween story.

My family has laughed and talked about the black Christmas tree for years. Recently, I talked to my Aunt Bonnie about that tree and what it meant to us as a great story. Her response? "Hey, that tree was BEAUTIFUL!"

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"To be a person
is to have a story to tell."

- Isak Dinesen  

 
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