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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)

TITLE: Undressing The Christmas Tree Way To Soon
By Anne Harrell


Undressing The Christmas Tree Way Too Soon

Christmas was just around the corner back at Christmas of nineteen-eighty-seven, at that Christmas was slipping up on me with time to prepare for the holidays coming upon us quickly. It was just a matter of a few days before Christmas, when I was making some cookies to give for presents. The apartment was quite other than the radio playing Christmas music when I noticed that my profoundly handicapped two-year-old daughter Cyndy had gotten quieter than usual on me. She had been crawling back and forth into the kitchen from the living room while I was making cookies when all of a sudden I noticed I hadnít seen or heard her for a little while. Usually when she has gotten very quite she either has climbed up on the couch and had been falling to sleep or had gotten into something she shouldnít have been in.

After I had quickly put the batch of cookies I was working on in the oven, I went searching for Cyndy. I didnít have to go far. When I peeked from around the kitchen in peered into the living room, when Cyndy was standing at the Christmas tree and had started undressing the tree. Cyndy was unaware that I was watching her from the kitchen as she had her fun taking the ornaments off and laying them aside. She had been so mesmerized by all the lights that were on the tree for the last several days. Apparently, she felt that we had covered the lights up too much, and she wanted the balls off the tree so the tree would be well illuminated.

As I stood there and watched her for a few minutes, she would grab one ball off the tree at a time. Cyndy would turn the ball all sorts of directions looking at the shapes and what was inscribed on the bright color balls, before she would lay it down ever so gently in the chair. Then Cyndy would grab another ball again repeatedly laying them in the chair after she had gone through her ritual. Once she had gotten all the balls off the bottom of the tree as high up as she could reach without a chair, Cyndy stood back and looked at the tree ever so proud clapping her hands and cooing loudly as if she had done something to help me. It was like; she was saying that now those lights could shine a little brighter since those balls that were covering the lights were off the tree.

When I had realized the reason that Cyndy was taking the balls off the tree was because she wanted to see the lights on the tree much brighter. I quickly hurried up, finished making the cookies, and then promptly grabbed up the two children dashing off to the store to get back home before my oldest son would be home from school, to buy a few more strings of lights to brighten the tree even more to make Cyndy happy. Cyndy enjoyed when we got back home with the lights because she helped me pull the rest of balls off the tree so more lights could be put on the tree. After adding the additional lights to the tree, Cyndy felted like she had done a days work, and it was time for her to take her nap. As Cyndy went to lie down on the floor with her blanket and pillow she was sleep in a matter of minutes. That tree that year was well lit up with lights at nighttime until after New Years; we could read at night without turning on lights to read by since the tree was so bright.

Cyndy has been with her Heavenly Father now for almost twelve years. Each year after that year, we would put extra lights on the tree to make sure, while she was among us that the tree was brilliantly lighted over the years. Since her death each year, we add a few more light strings and angels to the tree in memory of Cyndy. Cyndy loved Christmas and maybe her dying at Christmas is why now Christmas is so special to my family.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer10/16/08
This is such a sweet story. Is this a true event in your life? If so, what great insight you had to add more lights to the tree instead of scolding your dauther. What a sweet child! Thank you for sharing.
Marlene Austin10/20/08
What a tender tribute, obviously written with a heart overflowing with love. Thank you for sharing this story. :)
Sharon Kane10/22/08
I identify with the feeling of a small child being too quiet; my first-born son 'undecorated' a friend's wedding cake when he was 9 months old! You obviously had wonderful insight into your daughter's innermost secrets and responded perfectly. Your eagerness to share this precious memory shines brightly. However the words seem to tumble out, and a little more editing to shorten the sentences would make it easier to read.