I have always loved Christmas, in no small part because my grandmother also loved Christmas.

We called her Muner (pronounced moo-nah.  I don’t know why we called her that.  You’ll have to ask my oldest cousin, Steve.), and she really decked her halls every year.  She let me help her assemble her artificial tree, which was all white.  Then we decorated it together with her beautiful ornaments.  She had this one group of four elegant, opalesce ones that spelled “NOEL” in red Old English letters.  She always had birds on the tree too, beautiful red ones with long, gold tails and white ones with gold glitter on their heads and spun glass tail feathers.  There was a bird’s nest, too, with little blue eggs.  The birds and two of her other golden ornaments are on my tree as I am looking at it right now.

On my candlesticks here as I write at the dining room table are two little wreaths that began life as gift package decorations.  My grandfather would go to an exclusive Nashville clothing store called Gus Mayer and would have them pick out and wrap half a dozen or more gifts for her every year.  The packages were so beautiful, they were like something from a movie. I’d go over to my grandparents’ house and the presents would be there, under the tree, like part of the decorations.

Muner and Dat Daddy always knew how to keep the holidays.  Every year I try to live up to their inspiration.


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