This I Believe

Laura - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, illness

I believe in Christmas Trees.

Nine years ago, when I was ten years old, I had the worst winter in my life so far. My mother always told me that I “flitted” around, and what she meant by this was that I would run around on my tip toes jumping from place to place. One day I attempted to flit up the stairs, got to the second one and broke my leg. The next weekend we had an amazing snow storm, and the weather was perfect for sledding. I begged and complained for my dad to take me out. He wrapped up my cast in five trashcans put me on the sled and pushed me down the hill. Everything was going fine until I was heading straight for a tree. I tried to roll off but the trash bags got stuck on the sled and BAM, my face smacked into the tree. Now I had a broken leg, two black eyes, and I wasn’t exactly in the Christmas mood. My family and I always go to a farm and cut down our own tree, and this year we picked a bad tree. One day after we put it up we all broke out in poison ivy. Physically I was in bad shape, and my mental shape was just going to get worse. One night I heard my parents talking in their room about how my grandfather only had a year to live, and as a ten year old this was a lot to handle. I cried a lot, and I felt like I had nothing to believe in. Santa Claus wasn’t real anymore, I had a broken leg, 2 black eyes, and poison ivy,

The news of my grandfather was hard to take, no one close to me had ever died before and I had never attended a funeral. The thought of having to go to a funeral and the fact that it was someone so close to me was unbearable.

Christmas Eve we all decorated our new, poison ivy free tree together. The Christmas Tree was lit, the Christmas ornaments we made when we were little were hung, and looking at the tree and my family all the memories from past Christmas’s come flooding back. The tinsel was glistening and the white lights were sparkling. My mother put on my favorite Christmas songs and we drank hot cocoa. I remember looking at a specific ornament, made of pasta, painted of gold with my picture on it. I made it a few years before, and I couldn’t stop laughing about how hideous it was, but my parents loved it anyway. We reminisced about past Christmas’s, laughed about how last year Uncle Joe fell down the stairs wearing the Santa suit, and everything just felt right for the first time in many weeks. This ritual of Christmas Eve reminds me how important family is, and how they can make bad situations better.

I look forward to the Christmas season and decorating our tree. It gives me such a warm feeling inside when it is all done and the angel is placed on top. It reminds me that family is the most important thing, and no matter what bad things happen I can rely on Christmas Eve and decorating our Christmas tree together. I believe in Christmas trees.