Now, I looooove a good Christmas tree. I love the way they smell. I love the act of placing the many many ornaments on the tree and reminiscing about each one before carefully placing it in a location I can enjoy. I can sit for hours in a darkened room and just stare at a lit and fully decorated tree. Add a cup of coffee and something sweet and I’ll sit there all day! (Now, actually getting the tree to stand up straight in the stand and loading it with lights – THOSE are not very much fun. But, they’re totally worth the payoff.)
This year I’m getting a tree. Last year at this time I was living in a
relatively totally ghetto residential hotel – and there was no way we were bringing anything into that space that would garner attention (which would then result in a break in and stolen items). However, those fantastic few months are fodder for another post.
So – memories…
As a kid decorating the tree was the unofficial start of the holiday season. My mom would break out the carefully baked (and then carefully hidden) Christmas cookies for the first time and carols would be put on the record player. My mom would carefully unwrap each ornament, give it to it’s rightful owner (noted on the box – no mistakes!) and then each ornament was added to the tree. This was a great family evening – missing this was NOT an option. We had several hours of family fun each and every year. (I’m sure there were also periodic fights and tears – after all this WAS a family activity!) Great memories abound.
Jump ahead to adulthood and it’s just not the same. My sister’s husband was never much into the whole deal and her kids are still a mite young to be trusted with fragile ornaments. Boyfriends of my past were never much into it either -even when they were AT the decorating party! The Big Guy is supportive of my nearly maniacal desire to have and decorate a tree. But after helping to haul it home (often after providing the $!) and helping to set it up – it’s all just up to me.
Now, I should probably stipulate: I have a LOT of ornaments. The last time I put up my tree I included only unique ornaments – and there was hardly any green left to be seen after they were all in place, shining in their splendor. I get one (or five) each year and I love them all. Not putting some up would seem just wrong. Adding all of these baubles usually takes several hours and careful thought. I’m a SERIOUS tree decorator. (I’m realizing this is making me sound like some sort of holiday hoarder/freak show. Please don’t judge.)
I’m glad that both of my parents made decorating the tree such a big deal in my youth – and that they continue to make it a family activity at their houses when possible. But, sometimes I just wonder: was all that fantastical childhood Christmas cheer just setting me up for a letdown come reality/adulthood?
Sometimes doing something on your own has it’s own power – and I really need to apply this to Tree Decorating 2011 and all the years to come. Perhaps its time for a new tradition? After the tree is hauled home from the lot and dressed up with lights I’ll pour myself a cup of coffee with some booze in it and get down to business. The Big Guy can settle down with a movie and I’ll have a conversation with myself as each ornament gets its own special place to shine.