Decorating a Christmas tree with an almost-8-year old is havoc for a control freak. I have been saying to myself silently, in my head, Calm down, you can move it after she goes to bed. Just calm the eff down. And of all the fragile things that she took out of the box, I was the one who broke an ornament. It was a good one, too. Oh well, easy come, easy go. Usually, the Christmas tree and all the house decorations and outside lights go up all in the same day, but this year things got spread out, so it seems like a never-ending process. I have been tree-decorating for over and hour, and I still have more to do, but I need a break. Is there a law that says I need to put every ornament I own in the tree? Even the ugly ones? And why -WHY? - do I have so many damned heavy ornaments that need just the right branch? I have vowed never to buy a heavy ornament ever again. In fact, I haven't gotten any new ornaments, heavy or light, in a long time. I think the ones I have now are the ones I'll have forever. That's depressing. The same Crate and Barrel sparkly balls: forever.
Here are my faves, in no particular order:
One of the afore-mentioned Crate and Barrel sparkly balls, circa 1996. We had credit at C&B left over from wedding gifts, and got 6 of them, all with different designs.
This is a dragon fly made out of panty-hose, some kind of coloring, wire, with plastic jewels stuck on it. Leila made it in preschool. Usually most of the crap she makes in school gets thrown out when she's not looking, but I love this panty-ho dragon fly, and I'm sure there must have been dragon flies in the barn where Jesus was born, so it is Christmasy, no matter what you say.
This is the last ornament I bought myself. It was from The Container Store, and I thought it was the cutest little moose, until someone, weeks later, pointed out that, duh, its a reindeer. Sometimes, I'm really stupid.
I took this fake bird off a wreath at my old work. I love this bird, but I think I'm the only one in my family who does. If I remember correctly, one of our Christmas traditions is for Rob to say, Do we have to put that fucking bird in the tree again? and, of course, I insist that it be front and center because I love it. Its a pretty life-sized bird, about seven or so inches from the tips of its wings to the end of its tail. Its no small feat to find a good spot for it. I also have a small bird house and a small bird nest with a little cardinal in it (probably also lifted from wreaths from the same office party,) that get set in the tree. Its a tree! Birds go in trees! I just don't see the problem.
This might be my favorite. The picture makes it look like its just an average yellow ball, but its actually a GIANT yellow ball, about five inches in diameter, and the bright yellow paint was swirled around the inside and makes a cool, swirly pattern. Swirly is a very good word. It perfectly describes my religious beliefs: Swirly. Its like a big, bright sun, right in the middle of the tree. The birds need sunlight.
I wish I had a picture of the ugliest ornament I ever had, but I finally threw it out a few years ago. It was a plastic Santa head with clear plastic icicle coming out of the bottom. It looked like Santa's head on a pike. It was disturbing. It occurs to me now that this would have been an appropriate place to put a picture of the whole tree, but I didn't take one so its too late. Maybe tomorrow, when the boxes and the tissue are put away, and the needles are swept up, and my camera batteries are recharged.
I was going to follow up on my post the other day about thinking of one thing Rob could do to improve my experience of our marriage and I came up with something. Only, he doesn't want me to tell you what it is. That's what I get for being considerate and asking first. Suffice it to say that he has made the change, and my life has been improved by a fraction of a percentage point, so that's something. Sometimes I think he just says no to random stuff to prove that he can, that I only get my way most of the time and not all of the time, so I asked him if this was one of those random times, and he said that it wasn't, and that he just didn't need my readers to know what it was I asked him to change. So, the fact that he doesn't want me to tell you can lead you to infer that it is either gross, embarrassing, or both. Let your imagination run wild!
He did give me an early Christmas gift, though: we went to see Brandi Carlile live on Saturday night and sat in the fourth row! It was awesome, and a great present. Someone is getting extra starch in his panties this week!