It was December 26, 10 a.m. and, by the grace of all that is good in the world: Christmas has been ridden from our home.
It’s not that I dislike the holiday, in fact, I love Christmas and all it’s traditions and craziness and fun and manic frenzy. I love Christmas carols and watching my kids full of fun and candy cane stickiness during the holidays. I love getting dressed up in my pretty red party dress and I love giving gifts and decorating the house with lights that set a romantic cast on everything. I love Christmas. But, I hate clutter more.
Each year, La Gringa and I dismantle Christmas with the same passion as we put it up with. We put every single thing away. We ban “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” songs from our kids repertoire and we chuck the tree — fondly this year named Puffer — onto the curb with a vengeance. Farewell, Christmas! Hello, clean house! This year, La Gringa did it herself while I shopped the sales. Before I even got home I had several text messages from friends and neighbors who’d passed by, teasing us for ripping down the holidays before Santa could even make it back to the North Pole.
We go big at the holidays! Then we get rid of it. Fast. Only 330 days to go until we see the dancing Santas, twinkly lights and lit-up reindeer noses on our mantle again. I can’t wait. Sorta.Read More
You’ve heard me blog and beg and plead and look to you to help us find someone to light the local tree. The extraordinary Straun Edwards from Trees 360 Degrees did indeed light the tree for our community and the San Jose Mercury News’ Sharon Noguchi covered the event.Read More
The tree lighting ceremony drama –lighting up my frustration from here to Thomas Edison’s grave and back — continues. There are a million technicalities, hurdles, economic downturn-rejections and red tape landmines everywhere I turn. All of this, of course, in two languages. It’s sort of borderlining on panic.
But, there is also a fullness I’ve never really experienced before.
In my plea to local businesses to help us put lights on our holiday tree for our local community event, I found gems everywhere. There’s the lady from Discount Lift Rentals who calls me at 9 p.m. to tell me she’s going to call everyone she knows to give us help in finding a boom lift. Then she kindly explains to me the difference between the booms and the cherry pickers and the arms on the things. I’m pretty impressed the chick knows power equipment. That’s hot, in a Rosie ‘Yes We Can!” sort of way. There’s the friend who volunteers her husband and her vacation time to put up the lights — if only we had a way of getting in the tree. Then there’s the tough real estate agent who’s got a kinder than kind heart who offered to make calls on our behalf. And there’s the friend who’s gonna ask the neighbor if he can help. I’ve got a friend who runs a media site that’s willing to bullhorn our needs. And tonight, I’ve got several friends who know a friend who knows a friend….. Everywhere there is help.
And in the strangest way, I feel the tree lighting up.
Don’t get me wrong. There ain’t enough kumbaya in the world to substitute for the dang tree being lit. But sometimes inspiration comes from the people who cannot say Yes, but not for a lack of trying. I love people who try, no matter the outcome.
So we wrote blind letters, cold called and begged every person in the book tonight to help us find a way to light our community tree. And someone, somehow will come through. I know it will happen. And when it does, it won’t just be the person who said Yes that gave the gift. It will be all those I was lucky enough to hear No from that would have if they could have.Read More