Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Deck the Halls...

We decorated our Christmas tree last night. Why is it that the whole hallmark-card-visions-of-sugarplums ideal is what we always remember just BEFORE you start the decorate the tree? Why is it that when you are done the last thing the whole ordeal actually resembles is the hallmark-card-visions-of-sugarplum ideal? Yeesh.

Sure, the whole thing starts out wonderfully, the kids are excited, they gleefully go through their ornaments, remember which ones are theirs, fight over the ones that aren't marked and practically skip over to the tree to find the "perfect place" to hang them. That lasts exactly 20 minutes. Next thing you know, Shannon and I are still hanging stuff, George the Elder has retired to the couch to do whatever he does until he is called to put the tree topper on and the boys are chasing each other around the room with a Nerf ball making the dog crazy. Oh, I am also yelling at them to "Come and finish the Tree! This is supposed to be a FAMILY activity!" Whatever.

As always, the tree ended up looking really cool. I like that we don't have a "theme" tree and when it is all decorated it is just covered with memories. A boat-load of memories really. This is why the boys get bored. We have a "few" ornaments (defined as more than 10 and less than 200) and I like them all to go up. Yup. No one to blame but myself that the number of ornaments to be hung far exceeds the attention span of the male members of my household. If I were honest with myself I would realize that that number is say, ten. After ten ornaments the activity loses it's appeal.

We have my felt snowman from kindergarten who is now one-legged and eye-less, we have Shannon's early attempts at art and sculpture, glittery pine cones made by George 9 years ago and Henry's "snowflake" which is nothing more that a few twigs held together by string. We have origami from Japan, tiny little red phone booths from London, the coolest retro 8-ball ornaments from Camden Town, and a tree topper that is an angel with the head of a bull terrier. It would not win a single Martha Stewart award. But, it's damn fun to look at.

Wait! Maybe that's the solution. I am looking at the ornaments like a girl. If only I had thought to make all the ornaments interesting to the boys in my family, maybe we could live the hallmark moment. Yes, I see it now. Bobble-heads of all of our favorite sports characters, tiny little t-shirts from all the European soccer teams, little replicas of any kind of vehicle, a few dinosaurs, bugs and throw in a couple that made realistic bodily noises and man! They'd be at it all night.

Oh, and in case this blog ever acts as my last will and testament: I bequeath to Shannon my felt gimpy snowman, the used-to-be-white owl with the bent sequin eyes and ratty feathers and the little ceramic mouse in the babushka and moo-moo. She must promise to put these on the tree every year alongside her Care Bears GIANT ball, the numerous sculpy Santa heads, the green and red beaded safety pin creation and the mostly-disintegrated ice-cream-cone-satin-ball-with-sparkles that she made in kindergarten.

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