By: Marie Force
This is the story of a tuna can. On a cold winter day in 1972, a first grade girl took a tuna can to school for an art project. She cut out parts and pieces of old Christmas cards and glued them to the can. When her masterpiece was finished, she affixed ribbon to it, and a Christmas tree ornament was born. She took it home and proudly presented it to her mother, who oohed and ahhed and said all the right things—and then promptly relegated the masterpiece to the BACK of the tree. Oh the INSULT!
So the girl did the only thing a girl could do and moved it to the front where it belonged. Off she went to school. While she was gone, her mother did the unimaginable and RETURNED the tuna can to the BACK of the tree! And so it went, just about every Christmas season for the 32 years that followed. From front to back the sad little tuna can would travel in a battle of wills that was never discussed, acknowledged, or shared with anyone else.
The girl grew up, got married, and moved overseas with her new husband. She missed three straight Christmases at home. Ironically, in every photo of her parents' Christmas tree from those years, the tuna can sat front and center—finally getting the respect it so richly deserved. But when the girl came home for Christmas with her own family for the first time in four years, the tuna can was once again relegated to the back of the bus. Game on!
This is the girl's fifth Christmas without her mother, and the tuna can enjoys its premium spot at the front of her tree. No one moves it to the back anymore. The girl is thinking this could be the year she lets her daughter know that it is now her job to relocate the tuna can. It's probably time.