"I'm ready for my close-up", our little table top Christmas tree seemed to say. With the Canon G11 Santa left for me, I too, felt ready, and set the scene by randomly placing votive candles among freshly cut evergreen branches (a la Axel Vervoordt) and snapped this photo, and the one below.
When I was little, my mother told me about what Christmas had been like for her as a child, the youngest of five born to farmstead parents in the Mississippi delta. Growing up during the Great Depression, Santa Claus would bring her a pair of new shoes... and an orange. I remember her telling me that she always really looked forward to getting that orange at Christmas.
I didn't understand when I was kid, it just seemed so weird to me, a child of the suburbs, used to seeing oranges piled high in the produce section of every grocery. Somehow, now, it seems to me a perfect memory... a Christmas story from another era, yet one that resonates deeply for me today.
I lost both my parents this year, and the holidays brought bittersweet reminders of Christmas past. We listened to Dad's favorite Christmas music (he loved Nat King Cole's versions), watched classic movies like "White Christmas" (she loved Danny Kaye) and "Christmas in Connecticut" (he really liked Barbara Stanwyck), and we placed some oranges around the base of our little tree... for my Mom.