The last Christmas Tree

I didn’t know when I trimmed the tree with my kids last year that it would be the last time. If I had I would have taken more time about it and spent every second absorbing each bauble and ball as they were hung and each piece of tinsel wound around the branches. Enjoyed the laughs and the fights to keep the cat from climbing the tree and playing with the balls as they were hung. I would have cherished that last act of placing the star at the very top as I have done for around 23 years as a father. Sure the boys have generally not been around for the past few years to help or join in the family thing and the truth is that the girls are getting older now two with the youngest now fourteen.

Still, this year, for the first time since I have been a father I wasn’t around to do that thing that maybe fathers should do and it has induced a sense of melancholy. Not overwhelming, just the type that hides in the shadows and refuses to show itself fully. A slight sense of forboding like an ill wind, or the shiver that runs up and down the spine occasionally. An uneasiness that when you turn to face it full on, ducks away like a shadow in sunshine, still there, just less evident.

The best way to look at this is that it is simply another phase of life, not one for regret but one for pleasant memories and the forging perhaps of new traditions. The only thing I’m sure of is that I will be writing more about this Christmas as an absent father.



  1. Kate said,

    December 6, 2007 at 3:59 am

    I like the glass is half full attitude. It would be easy to wallow in what was and isnt but that wont change a thing will it! My oldest is 14 and I am trying to cram in so many family things these days because I know that soon he and his siblings will not really want to be spending time with family… not for a few years I guess. Anyway, cheers to you and your new traditions!

  2. Loz said,

    December 6, 2007 at 6:02 am

    Hi Kate and thanks for visiting. I agree with your friend that this is an awakening rather than a crisis 😉

  3. sfgirl said,

    December 6, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Neat story, Loz. I’ve tagged you in a meme. Come to The Alien Next Door to see:

  4. Gypsy said,

    December 6, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Those are the kinds of things I am cherishing right now. Nothing is forever as we all know but I am glad you are now at a place in your life where you can remember without too much sadness, rather sweet memories that will be with you always.Thanks for your kind support of me Loz. I will get back to you on that email first thing.

  5. Jeff said,

    December 6, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    “Life happens when you are busy making other plans.”–John LennonSo true.

  6. December 6, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Life really is a series of phases…some are just more pleasant (or not) than others! I wish you a very happy Holiday Season Loz!

  7. December 6, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    I can sympathize with the bout of nostalgia for family traditions that are no longer a part of our lives. It does make this a rather emotional season. I know that the answer is to find new ways and meanings to brighten up the holidays. Perhaps you could come up with a new holiday tradition you could share with your children now that they are getting older, a time out together for eggnog or grog of something of that order. I suppose fun in the snow is a bit out of the question over there! 🙂

  8. Blur Ting said,

    December 7, 2007 at 12:14 am

    You sound really melancholic and you’re quite right. This is another phase of their life. When the kids were younger, decorating the tree was such a ceremony but now that they are teenagers… they wouldn’t even lift a finger.It’s better to cherish the good old days.

  9. baby~amore' said,

    December 9, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    great reminder for us to cherish every day. I hope you have a great Christmas despite the circumstances.

  10. December 10, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    My tree is up high, and heavy – I’ve been waitin’ for the lad to have time to bring it down . . . They all say they don’t much care if we even get it up . . I’m headed out to get it right now. He WILL be gone next year and I’ll be crying if I don’t have one more time.It happened too fast. It was just the other day he was too young to hold the glass ornaments!

  11. HappyStill said,

    December 10, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    Loz, I look forward to reading your thoughts about absent dads. I’m the mum in a family like yours and I suspect that I am too close to the pain to think any good thoughts about my ex. He comes to my house for a few days at christmas and I don’t mind admitting, it’s not the aspect of the season that I most look forward to!However,even reading the little bits you have already written has made me a bit more sympathetic towards him. Only a tiny bit though and I reserve the right to remain angry!

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