Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Tree 101

For tonight’s blog, I decided to discuss a controversial topic: personal preferences for Christmas tree decorating.  There seems to be as many ways to do it as there are people.  Here is a sampling off of the top of my head.

The Archivist: This person hangs and displays every ornament they have acquired since the First Coming.  This includes tattered glitter-laden construction paper creations from little Johnny’s preschool days, as well as any and all macaroni endeavors.

The Minimalist: This person buys two 24 pack boxes of shiny glass balls (usually in red and silver) and can assemble the tree in half an hour.  They are usually the ones you hear about putting up the tree on Christmas Even and wonder “how the heck do they have time for that the day before Christmas?!”

The Theme-ist: This person has one type of ornament on their tree and one type only – and don’t try to talk them out of it.  I once knew a family of scuba-divers who exclusively hung fish ornaments on their tree. And then there are the people who go with all one color.  Lots of discipline involved there.

The Memorialist: This person only hangs portraits of persons who have passed.  Morbid, meet sentimental.

The Mash-up: Perhaps the most common variety of tree-decorator, this person has bought many ornaments over the years, as well as inherited a few along the way.  They display all their ornaments regardless of type.

The Arsonist: This person carries on the old German tradition of lighting real candles on their tree.  Beautiful but soooo dangerous.

The Edible Tree: Some persons decorate with strings of popcorn and cranberries and those foil-wrapped chocolate bells and decorated cookies.  A lovely sentiment just so long as you don’t mind your ornaments disappearing throughout the holidays by opportunistic children or pets.

We have two trees in our home.  The “main” tree (a real tree, of course!) exhibits all of our ornaments that we have acquired over the years.  Admittedly, we do have themes within the tree.  And sometimes, we even group and hang them accordingly.  There are the family heirlooms; they somehow have managed to survive many years of packing and unpacking, lugging up to the attic and down, and at least one felled tree.  Then, there are the ornaments we have taken to purchasing on our vacations.  Each year brings a new crop and hanging them for the first time in December serves as a visit back to wherever they were purchased that year.  Then there are the ornaments we purchase annually for our kids.  Each year we get them each a new one, reflective of some accomplishment that occurred that year.  It is fun to see how their interests and efforts evolve over time.  Also, our son has taken to collecting ornaments that look like little woodland creatures.  They usually gather at the bottom of the tree. Our last ornament trend is White House ornaments.  Each year, a new one gets created.  They are always interesting and rooted in American history and tradition.

You are probably wondering by now what we put on our secondary tree.  On this tree, blue and silver ornaments dominate.  This is an homage to the Jewish branch of our family and is quite lovely.

So there ya have it.  I would love to hear about your personal preference in tree decorating and feel free to post a picture.  It is all in good fun – just so long as we remember the reason for the season.

-- Eve

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