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April 15, 2024

Christmas Spirit

By Judith Alexander Brice

Christmas Spirit

I've been thinking about plastic --
our Christmas tree I mean -- and how
this year I made an executive decision
since I, the long-strayed-Jewish-maven
was doing it -- by default of course --
was going to be the decorator.
Yes, I decided

that the Tree would be plastic
no needles, no muss,
no fuss, no arguing about staying at home
or not -- no slog into the putrid cold,
slushy rain. No messing around
with a trunk that won't fit a stand
or branches that get caught
on the door hinges, knobs,
then crack despairingly askew.

We would skip the ventured trip
to parks, local fields, foreign barns,
depot stores that had emptied
of their best gems many weeks before --
we would get the perfect one that didn't have
such a maw in its too-wide-set branches
that you could see all the way to the other
side of the world -- we'd see

the truth of the holidays without the needles
cluttering the floor, that truth that spoke
from what my ex-Catholic-husband-turned
atheist-aficionado named our Holiday Inn Tree,
the one from the package that Santa sent
all the way from Plasticville to those of us
renegade Jews who still try to claim

the Christmas spirit
without really celebrating Christmas --
we'd stare down the stamens
of our twinkling gold,
emerald and ruby bulbs --
then step aside,
tender our lone shamas,
to kindle our first Chanukah light.

Article © Judith Alexander Brice. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-12-23
Image(s) are public domain.
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