That all changed a few days ago when I was making my daily drive through Slater Park with my husband. He loves to watch the geese especially when they take it into their collective mind to cross the street from the pond to the picnic area. This day as I entered the park I saw a new sign that said No Thru traffic. I drove as far as I could and saw hundreds of people standing in line and cars parked everywhere. People were moving as quickly as they could carrying huge bags of what looked like Xmas ornaments. The day was brisk and damp, but they looked joyous--their eyes were shining and their movements were full of purpose. I went as far as I could and turned around in the parking lot across from the Daggett House. I could see a line of young and old people that snaked a long distance and I could feel the charge of their excitement and delight.
What is going on--I wondered--and instantly my heart supplied the answer--. And I knew that in some way they were honoring their dead. I stopped and asked a Park employee what was happening. And he said they were getting ready for WINTER WONDERLAND-- people lining up to get their placard with their family member's name and some words about the person and then they can pick out the tree and then they can decorate it. Their joy was immense and I caught some of that delight to see them and hoped I would soon have the energy and health to remember ANNA with a tree decorated for her at Xmas.
It is one of the things that really made Xmas and Advent real to me again, and it is one of the things that makes Pawtucket a good place to live. THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IS ALIVE AND WELL AND BACK IN THE BUCKET!!.