This would be the night we would have been at the tree lot.
It had to be a tall tree. Big guy…big tree.
This would be the night the big box of ornaments from decades of collecting, would be hauled out of the closet and the process of sorting would begin. The old, big, solid colored lights, that would get too hot to handle and were fine years ago, would end up in a pile on the floor. The “UL” rating had expired long ago. I’m not sure there was such a thing when those lights were new.
So the “safer” lights would take center stage. Leroy had his own way of draping the tree with lines of lights…balanced just so. Then it was time for the ornaments. Some from family, some from friends, some very special, like the Hawaiian shirt from Maui or the Star Trek Starship and especially the “double-double” IN N OUT burger. Don’t get me wrong… there were the traditional ornaments too.
The last layer of dressing was the tinsel. Strand by strand we would find the bald spots on the tree and fill them with tinsel. By the time we finished, the tree sparkled when the light bounced off the branches.
All of this of course came with treats and wine and a big fire in the fireplace. He would put aside his hard rock music for the night and traditional Christmas music would fill the house. There was a “softer” side to this former drummer he didn’t reveal very often. He would sit and admire the tree, have a glass of wine and put aside the rest of the world and his place in it…for just a few hours.
This would be the night….