Christmas in Liberty

I just dawned on me that the song “I’ll be home for Christmas” has never been more true for us, since wherever Liberty is parked is home. A year ago when we put up the 9 1/2″ Christmas tree for the last time, I remembered the origins of each ornament as the grandchildren and I hung them. As we wrapped garland and lights on the open stairway, I realized it would be for the last time and it was a little sad. But when we took the ornaments off, instead of putting them back in the storage tubs, we divided them. Each grandchild got at least one and had to hear the story one more time. Each family got at least one of Grandma Tressie’s tatted ornaments.

The really special ones, though, we packed away in a storage tub marked “Christmas” that has been stored in Liberty’s bays until this past weekend. I hadn’t thought we’d have a tree, but our bus friend Karen Ward took up the challenge of finding us a suitable Christmas tree, which she gave us when we got back to town. Actually, she got us a trio of trees, along with ornaments. Johnny and Karen Schmidt added eagles to our collection and we have their eagle ornament on the top of the tallest tree.

The ornaments we saved are too big for the tree, but we’re displaying them on the only snow we hope to see this winter.

The stockings are hung in the windshield, behind the curtain. When we uncover the window in the morning to let the sun help keep us warm, we can see them. At night, with the lights on inside, people driving by can see them.

When my sisters started getting married, Mother bought them each a nativity set, one piece each year after the initial set. And I’m sure I was afraid I’d be left out, so she got me a set too. By the time we were about at the end, the Duckwalls store had only plastic figures, so one of my kings doesn’t match. We lost the nativity set one Christmas. It had been put in the storage room, not under the stairs with the other Christmas things. This year we added a Polish angel to the set, an ornament Heidi brought home from her Singing Quaker tour to eastern Europe.

Last but certainly not least are the pair of angels from our second Christmas as a married couple. LeRoy was in the Army and we had no extra money. I think I remember buying Mother and Daddy a spoon rest for the stove, something they probably didn’t need but we could afford. We watched this little pair of angels in the store, but knew we couldn’t afford anything extra. Eventually, the price was reduced to something like a quarter and we bought them. When the candles are lighted, their little faces glow like they were lighted from the inside out. One has been broken and repaired, but we never dreamed of getting rid of them. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without them.

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