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M.G. Crisci wishes everyone a Happy Holidays!

“As I See It”

Boy, It’s cold and damp; it can’t be more than 10°.
But, it’s the chilled wind that always plays havoc with my limbs.
Dread waking in this kind of weather.
Thank goodness, the sunrise is just around the corner.
Looking around, I notice my brothers and sisters waking…
“Good morning Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine, and Balsam Green.”
This is the big day—start of the Christmas season here at Jones Tree Farm.
Like the trimming of the tree at Rockefeller Plaza…only better!
Feeling lucky this season, sure to be selected by a great family.
Grown quite a bit these past few years,
Now about 12 feet tall, maybe six feet wide, perfectly shaped, and ready to dress.
The LeBron James of Christmas trees, if I do say so myself!

A rare Colorado Blue Spruce in a forest of Douglas Fir.
Luminous needles marry porcupine quills with the fluffiness of a golden.
Height another point of difference—I tower above the competition,
Get “first winks” at the most loving families.
Sun delivers light beams through my blue-green coat.
I’m not just a big, beautiful, inanimate hunk.
I’m a sensitive tree with have inner feelings.
The lone tree on this entire farm with a heart of gold,
And a photographic memory to store precious moments.

There’s Mitch and Mom, and brothers Matt and Mark,
They took a pass last year; nearly broke my heart.
Guess it just wasn’t my time.
Every tree wants to spend the holiday in their home.
Treated like a member of the family,
They spend hours decorating you with love and other good stuff.
Like they say on Madison Avenue, the trick is to get their attention.
Kazaam an idea! I’ll ask my cousin, the Breeze, to whip through my branches.
Should make me sway enough to stand out.
Grin and bear the cold snap, certainly worth the price.
“Let her rip, Cuz!”
Swaying real good now, the Crisci’s look up the hill,
My branches wave like two outstretched arms.
Yesss! Mitch spots me.
“Mom,” he points,” Perfect size for all our ornaments.
Matt, Mark, and Dad will love him too.”

Mom, a warm wonderful lady, not an athletic bone in her body,
Looks at me atop a 300 hundred-foot hill, as if it were Mount Everest.
“The tree (me) is beautiful but too high to reach,
The trunk too thick to cut, too difficult to transport.”
Mitch stares at me, I return the glance.
My cousin, The Breeze, senses our newfound bond,
Unleashes one more chilly zinger.
My branches shutter.
Mitch understands the non-verbal clue.
“Mom, Dad will help.
Why not do what you do best?
Supervise the cutting, get directions.”
Mitch finds Dad wandering among lesser trees.
Not exactly a Christmas afficiando,
Dad spots me glistening in the sun,
He respects Mitch’s decision,
I’m a done deal!

Taking me home a bit more painful than I originally envisioned.
They cut my bark, a little sloppy at first.
Dad lying in the mud, saws my base to keep my royal height.
Pinches a little, but ahhh what the hell, it’s for a great cause.
They drag me with care to that stupid wrapping machine.
I feel squished, like riding a New York subway during morning rush hour.
Mom does the expected, “Tie the tree tightly to the luggage rack,
So it won’t slip off on the highway.”

Once we arrive home, getting me settled a Herculean ordeal.
Turns out we needed an extra-large base,
And, I was so thirsty I drank a gallon of water to rehydrate.
But, man oh man, it was all worth it!
Wow, perfectly placed, under a bright, eight-foot skylight,
In the center of this wonderful upside-down waterfront home.
Finally, the plastic binding removed,
My arms and legs spread open wide.
Now I know how a convicted felon feels
Upon release from solitary confinement!
So many picture windows, clear to the sea.
Placed in front of the family room window,
I fell like King of the Hill.

Mom directs Matt and Mark in their infamous Crisci holiday symphony,
The Untangling of the Christmas Tree Lights.
“Mark, you walk into the living room. Matt, you the dining room.”
Mom gently unwinds the lights wrapped around newspaper rolls.
The house becomes a mass of curly strands of electric spaghetti.
Mom plugs the lights into the wall to see if they work.
Everyone applauds; every strand glows brightly.
Dad, on the top of the ladder, begins to wind the lights around my big arms.
It feels like being dressed in a warm fluffy coat during a cold winter storm.
Mom surveys one last time before the placement of ornaments begins.

First ornament the same each year,
the 25-year-old porcelain complexion, family angel,
Rests on my crown, dressed in soft white lace, made by heaven’s tailor.
Mitch, standing on the step ladder, spreads her lace gown,
Grinning from ear to ear.
Abundantly clear why he’s known as “The Christmas Bunny.”

Ornaments unwrapped, memories flood the room.
A blue cast iron angel Mitch bought Mom on a trip with Dad.
A wooden alphabet block from Matt’s first Christmas.
A shiny blue ball from Mark’s college alma mater.
Mom’s eyes twinkle and glitter,
Gifts from old friends’ spill everywhere.
Blow glass ball with silk ribbons from Key West,
Colorful glass pear from Auntie Ann.
Mom and Dad’s very first ornaments, long before Matt, Mark, and Mitch.
Discolored and scratched simple glass colored globes
From Woolworth’s 5 & 10 cents store.

Clark Griswald (sentimental Dad) the most moved of all.
Unwraps a collection of red, white and blue hats and boots dated 1976.
Ornaments lovingly made by his father’s brother, departed Uncle Tony.
The brash World War II vet turned burly butcher,
Who fashioned each 4-inch boot with at least 2,000 little colored rings.
Secured to a solid foam base, one stainless steel pin at a time,
Carefully placed into ribbons of red, white, and blue.
Uncle’s one wish, “Pass the ornaments from generation to generation.”

Time for the Crisci’s to retire,
Down pillows in each room promise a blissful night’s sleep.
Like a Cat Burglar in middle age,
Dad quietly slithers back down the stairs.
Paper and pen en in hand,
Glass of milk, carrots, and chocolate chip cookies on a tray.
“Dad” Santa writes notes with inspiring thoughts, suggestions about days to come.
Each contain a custom made bit of wisdom,
carefully tailored to fit, regardless of size or age.
This Christmas, unique as the others, in some special way.
Each note is placed in the appropriate stocking,
Been the custom for more than 25 years.

Christmas Eve ritual continues,
Santa and the Reindeer meal preparation.
Dad bites into the carrot, leaves orange shreds in the dish.
Chocolate cookies next. Bits and crumbs join the shreds.
Pouring and removing the milk coat the glass in whiteness,
Last but not least, the letter from Santa and Rudolph.
“Thanks for the cookies, milk, and carrots,
We were really hungry after the long trip.”
Dad then tucked the note under the glass.
Dressed to the nines, my lights glowed,
Dad smiled, thanked me for being there, then went to bed.

Suddenly, St Nick stood in the middle of the room,
Long white beard filled with chocolate cookie crumbs.
He read Dad’s notes to everybody, including the reindeer,
Then disappeared up the chimney.

I blinked again.
One last visitor—Uncle Tony.
He smiled and touched my branches, to admire those wonderful red, white and blue ornaments,
Fashioned with loving care more than 40 years ago.
His eyes recalled each pin, each little colored ring.
Uncle Tony looked around one more time, then waved goodbye.
Magically, my lights went out,
All through the house not a sound was heard, not even a mouse.

I’d also like to offer a little thank you.
If anybody would like to read one of my books and post a review, just let me know. We’ll send you a free printer’s proof PDF or Mobi (your choice).

Happy Holidays!

DATE: Dec.25.2019 | CATEGORY: | COMMENTS: 0