December 21, 2008
Christmas Decorating: The Tree
There are lots of fun and interesting ways to prepare your home for Christmas--and while I happen to prefer the traditional green tree, gold and white lights, candles everywhere, and hopefully a good dash of red--there are some pretty funky elements in the way my family decorates for Christmas too. My mom's huge collection of ornaments may seem over the top to most people, but we love it. Every year we buy a 12 foot tree, anchor it in the living room, and haul 12 boxes of ornaments up from the basement. The collection is completely random. There are some beautiful painted/blown glass balls, horrid little things we made for mom years ago, all her needlepoint ornaments, some ghastly plastic globes from my Granmother's tree, not to mention every Star Trek Ornament ever created, and many many more random items which all make it on to our tree.
It turns out this obsession with randomness on the Christmas Tree is hereditary. Above (and below) are (very bad cell phone) photographs of my Great Aunt's tree, which I helped decorate. This was my first time decorating an artificial tree, and it was strange at first. But it was also neat to be able to move a branch wherever you needed it. And it looks pretty good too.
My Aunt has a lifetime of ornaments on her tree. And by the time we finished there was not a SINGLE branch left on the 6 foot tree that didn't have an ornament already on it, except in the back near the wall. We started with nearly 500 colored lights, then put on the big ornaments, and gradually filled the tree. There were times when I thought we'd never finish, but then I found myself high on a stepstool wrapping a silver garland around the tree. The garland is my favorite part. It takes all the random busy-ness of the tree and unifies it. Icing, I like to call it.