365 Degrees of
by Oonah V
pondered as she hung the final bauble on the tree.
It took two hours to put this tree up, teasing
all the branches out into a pert conifer shape,
checking the lights, draping the tinsel just so...
should get a new tree, her friend advised.
I did after Brian passed and it made things
so much easier. Its not just the work
involved, its the memories, you know?
She did know.
That was why she really didnt want to
replace it with one of those tacky little glow-trees
that change colour at the edges and look so
determinedly cheerful or some gold-tone tree on
which you could only hang symmetrically placed,
designer ornaments, ruby droplets, gold and red
balls and bronze teddy bears.
She stood back
to admire her work. The only thing missing now
was a fairy. It had got broken last year. So
Every decoration, every bauble on this
tree held meaning and some were as old as she,
perhaps older. That little bell for example; it
lacked a hammer but
bell rang a light but clear note quite stark in
its clarity. Every time a bell
she thought. An angel appeared
bright and sharp at the top of the tree.
goodness, said Patricia (because
its that kind of story - she meant holy
shit but thats not the sort of thing people
say in a nice Christmas story) where
did you come from?
sad, said the angel.
children live away and Ill be all alone at
Christmas, said Pat. She bit back a tear.
thats not why youre sad, said
sad because you live in the past. What you need
to is to take your friends advice, get a
new tree, get out a bit, go to her house for
Christmas or invite a load of people here instead
of whinging on about your own imagined troubles.
said Patricia indignantly.
Youre alive. Wish I was
get a life woman before you snuff it and miss the
opportunity. Christmas isnt a bonus you
know. Every day is.
Angel, said Patricia.