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Published on 6th December 2016

Dear Santa

I see myself as a Christmas Tree, metaphorically. When I wake from deep rest is the moment the ax cuts me down. My morning abulations are the shaking off of loose needles, netting, tying to the top of a vehicle, and the drive home. The first cup of coffe puts me in the Christmas Tree stand. The second finds the perfect placement in the house. 

The first string of lights, white, go on when my partner goes to work; they light me, a Christmas Tree, in ways of security of a roof over our head, shine on the water to keep me alive, expose the scent of pine (love). The second strand of lights, colored, are placed as I plan my day of productivity on my own....the unmetaphorical me. And the last set of lights, colored including white bulbs, twinkle the beacon of a joyous reunion at the end of the work day. 

Every cigarette I smoke I consider one of the decorative balls. The ones I smoke carefree and with enjoyment shine silver. The ones I smoke despite the momentary conscious knowledge of staining my teeth, yellowing my nails, and causing a common cough are the dull gold balls. The ones I smoke with my brother on my mind, thinking of his many Blunt hints by way of IM with links to hotlines for quitting, stages of quitting, benefits of quitting, shine bright red because I can't enjoy my habit. The ones when I contemplate quitting, how it'll happen, if it happens whether cold turkey or by forced intervention, or as my wish...not at all living as an old woman who continues to revel in hanging silver balls on me, Christmas Tree, the balls hung during those contemplative moments are the colorful balls. The cigarettes I pass on are memorial; the baby's first, a momentous year, a gift from a family member, an ugly gift that I haven't thrown away. 

With every task that gets completed, phone calls, text messages, and emails I make or send, tensile is strung. Ribbon is wound around me with every bite or sip I take. The surprises that pop up during the day hang candy canes, some classic red and white, some disturbed multicolor.  Each moment I spend thinking of God, in prayer, reading a message, or listening to music, those moments get the ornaments that are bought on vacations, shopping at certain stores throughout the year, the must buys because of the significance or beauty or sentiment.

And, finally, when my head hits my pillow, a day mind and body spent, I hope they're is a star placed on top by a guardian angel, shining to the heavens, signifying my prayer for strength when the ax comes, hopes of a beautiful balance of decorations, and no mischevious cats.