Dick Tracy: A wonderful time for reflection | TheUnion.com

Dick Tracy: A wonderful time for reflection

Dick Tracy

Taking down the Christmas tree is a wistful experience.

I don’t use that word often, but it best describes the feeling of removing ornaments — some more than 60 years old — and carefully packing them away until December.

Our 6-foot Noble Fir came from the tree lot of our friend Dick Siebrecht who cheerfully telephoned, “I’m saving a tree for you!” about the same time we were going to call and see if he was still offering trees he calls, “My children” to the public.

Felicia and I agree that this year’s tree has been one of the most beautiful we’ve ever had, and it will still be up until mid-January. Simply because it pleases us.

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After that, when we carefully harvest the tinsel that makes it especially showy, it will stay in its stand on our porch like a large potted plant. Last year’s tree was still green until early April, then was relegated to our burn pile here on the ranch.

The same ritual applies to our Christmas music, both CDs and vinyl records. In my childhood it seemed that radio stations played the music for days on end. Nowadays it seems almost “embarrassing” to be reminded that this is a religious holiday. So there’s lots of music dedicated to Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman along with one of my favorite sing-alongs from grade school days, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”

Of course in the “old days” kids sang Christmas carols in school, and people of my generation still remember the lyrics to many of them.

What made this year’s Yuletide especially poignant for me was the fact I nearly wasn’t here to appreciate it.

When we had a big gathering of family here for a post-Christmas feast I dinged my fork on a drinking glass for attention and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m so glad we’re gathered here for this joyous occasion … and NOT my wake!”

Their laughter gladdened my heart.

Dick Tracy, who lives in Grass Valley, is a member of The Union Editorial Board. His views are his own and do not represent the views of The Union or its editorial board members. Contact him at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.

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