A persuasive writer, dynamic editor and audience advocate for companies ranging in services from health care to financial, and from real estate to appraisal. Ability to work cooperatively with employees as diverse as CEOs, physicians, nurses, salespeople and engineers. Extensive experience as a manager with responsibility for determining budgets.

Life Skills: Christmas and Gardening

Since I was a child, Christmas has meant putting up a real tree. A Christmas tree’s smell transforms the house. I like to fun my fingers through the needles and feel the sap and rough bark when I hold the tree while my husband tightens the screws.

Unpacking and hanging the ornaments takes me back in time to when a good friend or relative gave me a particular ornament. Or when my husband and I picked out ornaments together. And then there are my Woolworth’s painted wooden ornaments that I bought when I had very little money. I saved those ornaments to remind me of harder times, although I no longer tie crayons on the branches with bright red bows or drape garlands of hand strung cranberriesĂ‚ on the branches. Now I have more ornaments than I can hang on a six- or seven-foot tree.

The lights and the lighted angel on top are what turns each year’s Christmas tree into a magical symbol of the holiday. So when we packed up the ornaments and pulled down the lights and angel yesterday, I was sad that Christmas has ended. The magic for this year is over.

But the today I did something I have not done before. I sawed off the balsam tree’s branches and spread them throughout my garden in our backyard. Now a tree will nourish the garden for the spring. Except for the trunk, the tree was not wasted. Somehow that makes the magic of Christmas last several months longer.

Jan. 12, 2012