“Come on, gather around the Christmas tree, I want to get a picture of you all.”
The family lined up around the tree. It was an artificial tree that had been in the family for twenty years. Every year it dropped almost as many needles as a real tree would, and as such was now mainly a stack of metal wires with tinsel and baubles all over it and very little green fake leaf left. Every year one of her children asked, “why don’t we get rid of this old tree?” and she’d always reply, “because it’s tradition.”
On the top of the tree sat a Christmas Angel. Well, it would have looked like an angel once, but its wings were bent, it’s halo crooked and it’s face had long ago been scratched away by the Christmas lights, but it was tradition.
The Christmas lights themselves were also very old. Several of the bulbs had gone but they were wired individually so they still worked. The wiring was threadbare and some of the copper wires were showing through, but they were tradition.
It was tradition that made her make all her family line up in front of the tree. It was tradition that she would then have to hunt around for half an hour trying to find the camera.
It was tradition that someone in the picture would be blinking, or making a face, and it was tradition that the photo would languish in the computers memory banks and no one would ever get to see it.
It’s also tradition to have a Christmas fire, only this year it was caused by the faulty Christmas lights and the family only just escaped with their lives.
Some traditions are best not to be kept.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 12/December/2018