THE BEST VIEW: Christmas memories

by Norma Best Boucher

Christmas time is sometimes the happiest, sometimes the saddest time of the year. People are so wrapped up in the moment that they forget to remember. Often a simple thing like a card, an ornament, or a song will trigger their memories, and for a brief moment the past embellishes the present.

When I was young, my mother always decorated our Christmas tree. I’d sit on the couch and watch the lights sparkle, and she’d ask me where each ornament should go. I could have helped, but somehow watching my mother build Christmas with that tree was too special to interrupt. That was tradition.

Perry Como was tradition, too. While we decorated the tree, we listened to our Season’s Greetings from Perry Como album. As we listened to We Wish You A Merry Christmas, my mother, Perry, and I decorated our Christmas tree.

I have carried on the Christmas tree tradition. I don’t know why – it just happened. It felt comfortable. I decorate the tree, and my son tells me where the ornaments should go. The only difference is Arthur Fiedler. When we decorate our tree, the Boston Pops plays in the background. Perry Como is tucked away…with my memories.

My mother is gone now. It’s been 18 years. I’ve been so busy creating my own traditions that I haven’t had time to remember hers. Perhaps I haven’t dared.

This year when the time came to decorate our Christmas tree, everyone else was busy, so Arthur and I were going to carry on the tradition alone. I dug out the Boston Pops album, dusted it off, and put it on the stereo.

Then, something wonderful happened. Maybe it was an accident, maybe it was my subconscious playing a trick on me, or maybe it was just tradition, but last Christmas I confused the records, and from the sleeve of the Boston Pops album I pulled out Season’s Greetings from Perry Como, and We Wish You A Merry Christmas filled the house.

Alone, I laughed and I cried as all the beautiful memories flooded back. They had waited 18 long years, and they would wait no longer.

This is going to be a beautiful Christmas – one of the best I’ve ever had – full of tradition. I know because I’ve already experienced one of the best parts. My mother, Perry and I decorated our Christmas tree.


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