Christmases past are very present at our house this year.
Not our past Christmases, but the Christmases of others.
This past year my daughter got caught up in ‘auction fever’ at the various public storage lockers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. What started as watching the tv show “Storage Wars” became a practical solution to earning some extra money. Albeit one with consequences to the providers of the confiscated or abandoned belongings.
I was not in favor of her pursuing this avenue of earning money, but it was not about me or my opinion. Or the fact that I was once co-owner of a downtown antique and collectible shop in San Diego where the transients and low-income residents often brought in some of their cherished family belongings, and sacrificed them for necessities or a hungered-for drink. How do you put a price tag on such things? But that was our job as shop owners. My partner didn’t seem to mind this part of our business. I never made peace with it.
So, when my daughter persisted in this new direction, I at least gave her feedback on respecting the more personal items she found, and asked her to overlook how much she could get for them and respect that she held someone’s irreplaceable belongings from their past. She turned out to be more than generous in giving back photos, baby dishes, awards, jewelry – even a bicycle with a “Nancy” license plate on it.
Yet, there are so many holiday artifacts spilling from boxes of other people’s Christmases. Items she could not return since they were not considered to be that personal by some of the storage facility managers. So this year there’ll be the Christmases of others around us. The items that no one bought but are too beautiful or special to keep stored away.
My daughter’s donated some of them. Some she’s held on to and put in a private spot in case she’s ever able to return them . But mostly, there’ll be the glitter and shimmer of people’s better times shining once more in their absence in a household where their lost holiday belongings are appreciated and honored anew.
Wishing them a hopefully Merry Christmas, and a much more prosperous Happy New Year.