My mother’s vintage holiday baubles

December 22 | 2020

As I tell in my recent memoir, The Smallest Objective, my mother’s brief career as a biology student ended when a live fish on the dissection table bolted from her grasp. Soon after, my mother qualified instead as an elementary school teacher. Occasionally in December, she brought out the tiny artificial tree once in her classroom at the Protestant School Board, festooning it with icicles, tinsel, and iridescent balls. “Hanukkah Bush” was what we called the everlasting tree. Although my mother’s gone now, I still unwrap her vintage baubles for the holiday season. The words for them are no longer important— what matters is that they remind me of her.  

Wishing everyone a safe and satisfying holiday. For those who are front-line workers, thank you for your dedication and your courage.