Saturday, December 04, 2004

uncoordinated, but oh so dear

I spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon putting the final trimmings on the tree. This after it had already stood for a day or two, decked with lights, garland and bows while I pondered, what do I want to do with it this year?

Each year it seems I go through the same mental exercise. I’m bored with my old decorations. I should really have spent some time between when the stores decorate, and I do, to sleuth the newest trends and come up with a theme - like pink balls and white angels, or gingham decorated gingerbread. At the very least, I could have replaced my fuzzy gilt garland with those gauzy wired ribbon creations which undulate around most trees these days.

But I didn’t. And so yesterday, as I was anxious to get the job done and on to other important things, like baking and writing the Christmas letter, it was back to unpacking my hodgepodge of tree decorations. I must admit, it’s not unlike opening a time capsule.

There sitting on the top were the balsa wood wild animals we bought at the Christmas shop in Niagra Falls on our honeymoon in 1981. Next I unpacked and put up the tiny "A Visit from St. Nicholas" plate, the Santa hot chocolate mug, and the tinkly porcelain bell - all limited edition decorations we get yearly from our next-door neighbors. Then it was on to the collection of brass bells, engraved angels, rocking horses, puppies in stockings, kittens in beds, drums and soldiers and wreaths of all kinds, many with the kids’ names on them and dated the year they’d been received. Near the bottom of the box I re-discovered the mirror ornaments I’d bought before I ever married, and the music-note-trimmed grapevine wreaths made by my sister, and the lace crochet angel and tree made by a friend, and the whole assortment of stuff made by the kids, from pipe-cleaner candy canes to mice, with rubber band tails, sleeping in walnut shells. And of course I always have to find a special place for the wild-haired bride doll and the black-hatted Cossack (made of Phentex - it will never wear out!) ornaments Mom gave us to celebrate our first Christmas as a couple. Finally, in the center of it all I hung the tiny gilt creche over a mini-bulb to light up its meaningful diorama.

As I said, it took me several hours to trim our five foot, five inch "Made in China" Delaware fir. After I finished, and stood back to admire my handiwork I realized, it did have a theme – UNCOORDINATED – with its range from child-made to limited edition, priceless to tacky, old to new. But I'm glad I resisted the temptation to sacrifice heart for optics. For it is also OH SO DEAR.


Kim said...

One year, I said to my hubby that I wanted one of those tress that one would bee on Martha Stewart, but my husband said absolutely not. We have an uncoordinated tree every year, and he likes it. Coordinated is overrated.

John said...

Wow, I never thought of coordinating my tree. We have sooo much stuff to put on it, from hand made kids stuff to silly little things we have picked up from oh too many places. Our tree is full, full of life as we have lived it. Christmas with the God loving family remembering each of the events as we hang each of those special keepsakes. I love Christmas. I love sing carols, I love shopping for my family, I love eating all that special food, I love the Christmas message, I love being able to give to someone I don't know. I love Christmas. Oh how I love Christmas - Ho-Ho-Ho!!

Violet N. said...

John, I get the feeling that really, really, really loving Christmas is a guy thing! Could it have something to do with the fact that most of the Christmas prep is done by the womenfolk? (Just kidding - I love it too.)

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