Our Christmas Tree

Updated: Jan 20


Polaroids, glitter and trees.

You said that we should store the Christmas tree in a box under the bed, so that we could use it again next year. We picked out the finest ornaments and hung them on the tree together. We put an enormous star on the peak of the tree. You seemed so excited by the thought of a future, the craving of hope and yearning for happiness, but we both knew that it was going to be the first and only Christmas that we’ll ever spend together.


We were too excited to wait for actual Christmas day, so we decided to have a hurried, premature “Christmas,” exchanging gifts while “All I want for Christmas is You” was humming in the background. And all I wanted for Christmas was you. Your green eyes, your freckled nose, your touch, your prose directed at our growth. I was so deeply devoted, my vision distorted, grasping onto the hope, familiarity and spirituality attached to that tangly, thin tree. But Christmas trees are lacerated by the stem, and before Christmas even began, the tree was lifeless and inanimate.


The Christmas tree stayed up until late June, I now infer that it was because we were both greedy for the sentiment not to fade. The glitter from the carefully selected ornaments were scattered everywhere. On the floor, on our desires, in the crinkle beneath your left eye, only visible when you smile.


A few times we almost knocked the tree over, you propelling straight into it and me stumbling to catch it like a fatal disease. Sometimes you would push it over on purpose, just to watch a rain of glimmer descending on us. The perfectionist in me would pick up all the little pieces of fine glitter one by one, I’d be tired and irritated, but you’d be full of glint and shimmer, so luminescent, gorgeous, unburdened. You asked me “Why don’t you look happy,” thinking the shimmering would make me rejoiced, thinking that I could forget why the tree always kept tumbling over.


After a lot of pain, the tree would stand again, right next to the doorway, sometimes making it difficult to exit the door, to escape. The last time the tree came tumbling down, I started sobbing uncontrollably. You uttered with shock “why are you crying- there’s nothing to cry about.” I cried because Christmas was long over, the tree was to heavy and I couldn’t pick it up, and you didn’t even attempt to try. But you were right. There was nothing to cry about. The Christmas tree was dead when we procured it. It was bound to dry out or rot eventually.


I haven’t seen the Christmas tree since that day, but I’ve noticed that you’ve become an ornament, a toy underneath a Christmas tree, all wrapped up in glamorous wrapping paper. I sometimes take a glance at the names on the card tucked underneath the giant red bow. My name isn’t on the card. But, instead of being disappointed, I feel as content as one could in the same particular situation. I might not have the gift of spangle or flicker, but I have a forest of green trees sturdy rooted in the ground. I might not have a Christmas party or an exchanging of gifts, but your glitter is disappearing, fading slowly, and I don’t intend on wasting anymore time on my knees trying to clean you up. I can't hear the Christmas melodies anymore, but a different, lighter tune is starting to chime. A rhythm that I cannot stop dancing to. I might not have you this Christmas, but I have a lot more. I have trees connecting with the sky, I have sunbeams and light rays raining down on my skin. I have luminescent wings. They are strong, and wild, and filled with brightly gleaming rainbow colours. I have me, and I no longer need your glitter or the memories of the Christmas tree.

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© 2019 by Michelle