Holiday Eucalyptus and Avocado

Christmas was half an avocado with lemon
Christmas was half an avocado with lemon

I knew Advent had begun when my mother went out into the back garden with her loppers and came back with a eucalyptus branch.  She affixed it to our front door knocker with the paper-wrapped metal twistie that kept the broccoli heads together at the Palo Alto Coop, then ironed the same satin ribbon she had used the prior year and used it to make a big bow which served to hide the twistie.  

We never had an evergreen wreath, or holly berries, or flocking, or tinsel anything.  We never had roast beef, or frosted cookies, or pie.  

Christmas for me was the astringent kick of gum oil in my nose, and those sharp blue leaves, and that cascade of capsules, which is what eucalyptus seed pods are called.  These made excellent boats for the bathtub, or the gutter, and if you stomped on them they popped like kelp bladders under your Jack Purcells.  Christmas was cracked crab, sliced oranges, and half an avocado for each of us, with lemon juice squeezed on top.  That could be a boat, too, if the grown ups weren’t looking and I could grab a cocktail olive or two.

Place(s): California

– Enid Van Hoven

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more