Don’t you just love Christmas trees? I do. Especially those trees decorated by people with Martha Stewart obsessions. Some of them look better than the department store trees, many of which are decorated with near soccer size giant shiny balls (now be mature).
The decorations on this tree match, and were probably put up earlier than three days before the actual holiday. But that’s not how we roll here. The Things and I have each gotten one ornament every year, a tradition started when Thing Two was eighteen months old, and on the naughty list. She loves how I tell this story every single year as I put up the ornament her Grammy and I bought for her.
You’ll also notice other people tend to fluff up the tree and straighten out the branches. Not us! Since Thing Two (who is awesome!) was the one to actually drag the tree in and put it up, I can’t complain. Still, this is definitely not one to go before the window, with its lovely branches and twinkling lights informing criminals that yes, we have lots of material goods! No, ours is the slightly tilting tree, held up first by a trashcan (never say Thing Two is not inventive) then by a tree stand meant for a living tree. My husband did some handy work, and lo, we had a tree that stood up without a trash can.
Next came the decorating. This is serious business, so here are some tips. Tip 1: Make sure you have ornament hangers ready. Don’t let them get tangled up, though!
Tip 2: For a truly pleasing display, make sure you put the tinsel on first, draping it nicely on the tree. Next place the ornaments on the tree with careful precision. You don’t want your tree to look like someone just tossed the ornaments up there willy-nilly!
Tip 3: Don’t forget to have use proper ornament placement, so that each ornament is just the right distance apart, thus making a pleasing design for the eye and insuring that every ornament is seen.
Tip 4: Last but not least, don’t forget the Christmas star or angel at the top of the tree! This decoration shows the true spirit of this season of love and harmony.
Our ornament collection is extensive. Many collected over the years, some given to us by slightly off friends and relatives, and some that we’re not sure about.
There’s also that special ornament that makes you smile each year. In the slightly-off relative category comes this mermaid, given to me by my cousin. The rest of the family have no idea how she was made, or bought, but several of us got one, in various hues. We call her the pregnant mermaid.
All attempts are made to keep ornaments in pristine condition. Some, though, still manage to break. For instance, we have a famous ballerina girl whose arm has broken over and over. Her arm is now bandaged carefully by scotch tape, and she’s quite happy with that. We don’t know what happened, but we suspect Elton John might be responsible.
The tree is important, but don’t forget to hang the stockings or you don’t get any loot. We have special stocking hangers. Two have decorations, but for the other two, we have to improvise. Thing Two knew just what she wanted on her stocking hanger.
There are occasional accidents on the decorating job. I attempted to use a cute little porcelain doll with ice skates on one of the hangers. It turns out ice skates aren’t the best at keeping a highly breakable doll steady.
It was unfortunate to lose the doll, but we are a family of scientists, so Thing Two couldn’t resist further investigating the inner workings of this doll. After removing her stuffing and discovering her exoskeleton, she decided to make her own little doll of horrors. I had nothing to do with helping her, of course, because I am a mature adult.
We invited Thing One to the lab, but she ran away shouting “Nooo! I still haven’t recovered from Toy Story!” This did not deter our scientist, who worked with the wire skeleton some more.
I might have gotten off track there. The fallen decoration was put to rest, and we stood back to admire our tree. It might not put the “k” in “kuality” but it’s good enough for us. I know the true meaning of Christmas anyway – Things!
~Alice and her Things