Sunday, December 2, 2007

It’s Christmas decorating time again.

I sat at the local diner on Saturday watching all the cars drive by with their Christmas trees tied to the roof of their cars. SUVs, pick up trucks and even a few compacts with the tree sticking out in the front and back whizzed passed carrying home that little piece of holiday tradition. I began to feel absolutely nostalgic for all of about 30 seconds.

Christmas tree time of year was not necessarily a happy time in my house. It inevitably degenerated into a time of arguing, throwing things and some rather unholiday-like words being shouted. Putting up the tree was a family experience, by golly and we all had to be there to “help”. Now that usually meant watching my parents lose all patience with the tree, throw it at least once and declare that this year there would be no tree. All before they got the stand on. This seems to have been the most difficult part; putting on the stand while keeping the tree straight. I don’t think I will ever forget the year my step-father actually wired the tree to the wall to get it to stand up. This after a long time of yelling and attempting to cut the bottom off so that it would be level. I’m not exaggerating here. He literally wired the tree into the wall so it would stand up.

And outdoor displays. Oh, but they are wonderful things. My parents take their outdoor decorating seriously. Colored lights festoon the white fence that outlines the yard. All evergreen plants are covered with lights and the windows outlined with sparkling blips of color. A couple of years ago they added the ultimate in outdoor Christmas décor. Inflatable “things”. Yes, my parents’ house is that house with the giant, inflatable, illuminated snowman brandishing his candy cane like a holly jolly Norman Bates wielding his knife. No matter how we older kids laugh and sing loudly about “the tackiest house in the neighborhood,” my parents turn a deaf ear and the display grows year after year.

The only other member of my family to be infected by the “decorating” bug is my younger brother. My brother is an interesting creature during non-festive occasions, but at Christmas his uniqueness shines. His house is outlined in lights. This is not a good thing. A couple of years ago my brother literally (I’m not joking) stapled himself to the roof of his house while putting up twinkle lights.

No, it’s not an installment of National Lampoon’s Christmas, my brother really did staple himself to the roof with a staple gun. The really funny part? He stayed up there. In the cold. Freezing. Waiting for someone to help him. All he had to do was pull his arm free, but he didn’t want to rip his shirt. So he sat there on the roof, stapled to it for over an hour until his wife came out to see what was taking so long.

It’s just one of those little things he will never live down, like the time he accidentally threw his cordless phone into the bonfire. Or the time he crawled into my mother’s dryer and almost got the ride of his life. Or how he used to cover his eyes with his hands while standing in plain sight, sure that if he couldn’t see you, you couldn’t see him. I’m not sure he understands the flaw in this concept to this day.

Me? Did I catch the decorating bug? Actually yes, but my dear SO keeps me contained by making me promise before we enter the store that I must not buy the light up grazing reindeer whose head bobs up and down no matter how cute I think it is.

So today we put up our indoor decorations. Lighted holly leaves in the window and our Christmas tree. Straight out of the box. As much as I love the smell and idea of a “real” tree, I like the hives that breakout all over my body a whole lot less.

Next weekend? Outdoors! The boxes of twinkle-lights are ready. Just don’t tell the SO about the light up polar bear I have hidden in the garage.

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1 comment:

Anny Cook said...

Well I love decorating. Don't have anything outside to decorate because we live in an apartment, but when we had a house we always had the lights and candy canes on the deck with big bows... sometimes I miss it.