It just happened. We didn’t talk about it before in our old age. We had gone to the same lot for years after our increased salaries had allowed us to abandon the fake Christmas tree with the green toilet brushes we stuck in a wooden trunk that smelled like nothing and get instead the sweet smelling pines filling our tiny living room. We are thankful that our dear children experienced those live trees through most of their lives into adult hood when they now cut down their own trees every year and never have the toilet brushes themselves.
Without speaking, we chose a smaller tree. The kids want Christmas at their houses now.
“Mom, Dad, you have blessed us all these years. Now it is our turn to bless you.”

So much is diminishing these days, years. As we decorated our little tree, we had to decide which ornaments to hang, which to leave in boxes instead of festooning the tree, loading it down with all the memories, what the kids made in school, the first ornament of our marriage, two gold metal figures kissing, the ornaments from events, Little League and figure skating, and vacations, Maine and Disney, too many to remember.
The angel remains, the one put a top our first fake tree with the color-coded instructions. She remains and looks down and out as always and wonders—Does she wonder?—why, like us, she is so much closer to the ground. 

Originally published in Quail Bell Magazine