A week ago, at Lee’s Art Supply on West 57th Street, I bought a fake Christmas tree. Six feet tall. Fifty-nine dollars. About the same price you would pay for a real one on the street.
It’s kind of great. The trunk is wood. The branches do look like branches, but spaced a little extra wide for that good ornament spacing hang. I think the tree is cute. Adam, my Recognized-by-the-State-of-New-York-Husband, thinks it looks like a cell tower.
At least he did before it was covered with ornaments.
And now to the good part. I love Christmas trees. The ornaments. The lights. The whole cheesy deal. When I was a kid and we would have the Christmas tree plugged in, and my favorite television show was on, I would rather look at the tree than watch the T.V.
I know. No big surprise. However, I do live a life of decorator spareness, so I feel this guilty pleasure, allowing myself to froth out on a Christmas tree, is an aberration in an otherwise brown-beige-a-touch-of-corral lifestyle we’ve been poking around in. Our spare living has been informed by our personalities and our personal histories. Adam is a lapsed Quaker and I have always been basically neat and do not like to shop. So we live uncluttered and open. And we like it that way. But when it comes to Christmas? Bring on the motley mess of lights and colors. I am all for it.
Each ornament has a story. I have these hanging guitars from my grandmother---lutes and cellos really—that are from the 1940’s or earlier. Heavy glass, they have been dropped many times and do not break. I have a few from the 1960s that my dad bought. Groovy shaped elongated spheroids with pointy tips at the bottom, frosted in white with glued on tiny stars, a white bell with curly gold sparkling twirls and tiny fake rubies. And then there are all the ornaments from all the vacations. Middle Europa wooden carved things, a Maryland crab in a crab trap, a great long hanging thing made out of Redwood from Northern California, a wooly sheep from Iceland, Mexicrap, a pepper from Santa Fe with Santa painted on it, a golden walnut from Idaho. And then all around California, there was always the chance to pick up some schnazoids along the way, you know how it can get…
Every ornament means something. I guess I am extra excited because we haven’t had a tree in a few years with this California-New York-Storage-Unit-where-the-hell-is-all-my-stuff-sort of thing.
My gushing joy, it embarrasses me. I don’t know why I think I should be so serious and unhappy.