It happened this way. An 80 pound yellow dog came to live with us, and once he had recovered from his depression (oh yes, they can so be depressed), his waggy tail, bony hard as a whip, signaled the end of Christmas trees decorated with ever-so charming, vintage glass ornaments. As in all things Christmas, I was prepared with a plan B. (Isn’t it nice that Yellow Dog was often known as Mr. B? I love a pun.)
My dear sister had, a few years earlier, made an innocuous seeming request that I supply her with “a few of those beaded ornaments we used to have on the tree. I think Mom might have made them?” Oh Pammy, you are so very innocent. A few. Snort.
I found them, alright, in people’s driveways and basements, in bags at church sales, and received more than a few from indulgent friends who knew that no more expensive gift could, in my eyes, hold a candle to a quarter’s worth of styrofoam and sequins. Having divied the booty up even steven, as twins are wont to do, I sent Pammy her pile and of course, kept right on accumulating floss covered orbs erupting with sequins and ribbons and beads like some sort of Christmas acne. Immoderate in all things priced under $1 and Christmas related, my approach was as always, ‘the More, the Merrier.”
Until Yellow Dog joined our family, however, these bejooled and beribboned spheres had never seen the Twinkly Light of Christmas. Craig wrinkled his nose in skeptical distaste at their crafty kitsch. But, Bumper mattered more, so the Glass from the Past was passed over, in favor of what seemed, even to me, an unpromising substitute. We hauled the boxes into the living room, and with only the lights of the Christmas tree, commenced to decorate.
Does it over state things to say a mesmerized silence descended? That we were humbled? For there, surrounded by pinpoints of light and depths of shadow, the sequins and beads transformed into shining jewels, and the flossy surface glowed like embers. These church bazaar rejects had conjured an unexpected magic. “They look beautiful,” Craig observed, and they truly did.
As it turned out, Bumper wasn’t the least bit interested in the tree. Investigating it would have meant getting up from the couch, and What Was The Point in That? Our glass ornaments were permanently retired that night, never to be hung again. It was our most beautiful Christmas tree ever, restoring enchantment and surprise to a holiday that had, for me, grown threadbare and routine. And it all happened because of you, Yellow Dog. May your days forever be merry, and bright.