Friday: Last Freeforall of 2012

14 Dec

7:53 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Fire and Rain by James Taylor

Hello, everyone. For better or for worse, the Christmas shopping is done. Tomorrow I fly to mom’s, where I will find out what I have forgotten to order! I will also set things up for us, the soon to be arriving family horde, to create a paper tree. tree-craft-8

Last year, mom gave her tree away after Christmas. It was old and she found it a lot of work watching everyone set it up [I kid you not. I think that’s the reason, although she would tell me not to be silly]. A couple of months ago, while talking with my daughter, Marguerite, about what to do, she suggested turning two past happenings into a tradition.

In 1969, my parents were on their way home to Hong Kong and brought me from college to Hawaii for Christmas. The real tree they had ordered got hung up somewhere. My grandmother, who had flown in from D.C. to join us, suggested we make a tree. You should have seen it. We wound green wrapping paper from the 1195445434563101144Machovka_Christmas2.svg.thumbcircular ceiling lamp to the circular table, in the room. Then, we all made ornaments from paper, to stick on it. We loved our tree and talked of it fondly, over the years.

In 1984, my husband and two children and myself arrived in Kuala Lumpur, but our shipment had not arrived with us. My husband found green wrapping paper in some tiny store and cut out a Christmas tree shaped tree which he stuck to the wall. Then, we and our two children sat and cut out paper ornaments. We loved our tree and often recall the time when talking of Christmas. 16087053-colorful-drawing-of-decorated-christmas-tree-and-presents-child-style

My daughter remembers both the tale she heard of the earlier tree and the pleasure of sitting around creating the second tree. She suggested that, this year, we cut out a Christmas shaped tree which we will stick to mom’s large picture window — we must remember to put something pretty on the back for the neighbours. My husband, Skip, will make large quantities of the world’s best eggnog; we will have scissors, scotch tape, construction paper, origami paper, pre-made flat ornaments, garlands, mini-lights, pipe cleaners, and whatever else anyone brings; somewhere, on one of the four or five computers, we will have Christmas music. We will love the tree and talk about it in the coming years.

This is what we will celebrate, our family. Present will be myself, my husband, our daughter, Marguerite, my younger brother, his former wife, their daughter and her partner; from Vermont we will Skype with our son, Houston, and his family, celebrating their first Christmas on their own; and from Afghanistan, if the airwaves are kind, we will Skype with my other brother.

Well… pause for a moment while she reads the post she had not started out with — this began as a brief intro, after which I would segue into the usual… I don’t know where this came from, but clearly had a need to write it and share it with my other family, my cyber-poet friends, many of whom I have become closer friends than with anyone I actually know. So, whatever your beliefs, your traditions, your celebrations, here’s to family and to friendships.

Yeh, yeh, I know I promised to corner the emotional stuff and back it into its proper sphere. What can I say? You know better than anyone the strength of what needs to be written. Here’s a link to last week’s Friday Freeforall. If you go to any of the links, you’ll be able to navigate to the current prompts. Have a lovely two weeks and I shall see you the first week of January. I look forward to starting another year with you. Now, excuse me while I decorate the page.

Happy writing, everyone. Paper snowflakes

P.S. Remember cutting out snowflakes? The Smithsonian has a great how-to article which they published a couple of years ago [yes, that would be my daughter’s name you see mentioned]. Make snowflakes!


Posted by on 14/12/2012 in writing


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13 responses to “Friday: Last Freeforall of 2012

  1. Joseph Harker

    14/12/2012 at 9:53 am

    It all sounds marvelously creative, so it’s easy to see where you get it from. 🙂 Best holiday wishes to you and yours, looking forward to your return!

  2. barbara_

    14/12/2012 at 9:57 am

    What a super idea! A tree the cats couldn’t climb, and that wouldn’t clog the vacuum. Be sure you have some things on thread, to move when doors open and close. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  3. The Happy Amateur

    14/12/2012 at 10:04 am

    What a nice post, Margo. First I read Marie’s interview with Santa himself over at the Bloomings, now this wholesome tale of tradition and family. Thank you for sharing.
    Merry Christmas.

  4. cloudfactor5

    14/12/2012 at 11:14 am

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday’s to you and yours, The eggnog is making me drool !!

  5. markwindham

    14/12/2012 at 12:43 pm

    Have a wonderful time and remember, keep the tablet close to the eggnog. 😉

  6. Misky

    14/12/2012 at 4:05 pm

    Happy Christmas, Margo, and my love to all those you cherish.

  7. Hannah Gosselin

    14/12/2012 at 8:04 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Margo. Smiles hugs and ♥’s

  8. Annette Mickelson

    14/12/2012 at 9:38 pm

    I love the story of the trees. Thanks for sharing to with us. Work has gone NUTS leaving me no time or energy for writing. Hopefully, things will settle next year. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  9. vivinfrance

    15/12/2012 at 7:14 am

    What a lovely post. I hope you will have a wonderful Christmas with your family, despite the tragic happenings in the wider world.

  10. Lara Britt

    04/01/2013 at 12:03 am

    Merry Christmas, Margo. Most of my Christmases have been spent in Hawaii. Non-traditional is my tradition. Hope yours was filled with joy and love. That’s the most important thing…everything else is…well, decoration.

    • margo roby

      04/01/2013 at 7:26 am

      Merry Christmas to you, Lara! Christmas was joy-filled. When there are so many of us who only see each other once or twice a year [and who have loved Christmas since childhood], every moment is a joy. The most stressful part was the decorating! I walked in the door and mom said: “Here, dear, you do it”. Aiee! I took photos, so next Christmas when I walk in the door and she says the same thing, I can do it without the stress. It’s good to see you. I wish you a peaceful new year.

  11. teri h hoover photography

    04/01/2013 at 8:45 am

    Margo- We whirl into the new year and this is the last prompt I find of yours. Glad to see you are still on break. (but I have seen your comments lurking around on various writing sites AND on my blog 🙂 I stopped checking all blog (writing and photography) prompts in late October. I need to learn not to let it make me feel bad that I can’t do everything!

    On another note – I hope your holidays were fantastical. And wishes for a belated HaPpY BirThDay! I must say your “emotional” personal posts are my favorites. It is nice to have a peek into the Margo of paper Christmas trees, eggnog and skyping.

    Wishing you all the best for 2013- xoxo teri

    • margo roby

      04/01/2013 at 9:23 am

      Teri — how lovely.
      I, also, have to give myself permission to take retreats from blogs and blogging. The one I found more difficult was telling myself it’s okay that I can’t get a poem done to post, although I am giving the Stones a try again.
      Then holidays were every bit as good as Christmas always is with my family. And, don’t worry, the personal will still creep out :-D.
      Have a peaceful and relaxing new year –oxox m


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