Monday, December 8, 2014

                                                  DECORATING THE TREE

     After unsuccessfully nagging Mr. Wonderful for twenty-one years to hang outside lights on our trees and bushes, I have given up. “Less is more” has turned to “nothing is normal.” This year has presented a new challenge: put up the tree with no gifts underneath. Yup. As many “elderly” folk do, he decided that no one needs anything, so we are not exchanging gifts. What happened to Joy to the Queen? oops, that’s “Joy to the World.” We scheduled two dinner parties, so I rallied for the Christmas tree to make things look festive and to suck in my sadness about not being with our family for the first time since I was in the womb. Reluctantly, he dragged it out, moaning about his back, his shoulders, and muttering something about “thisisthelasttimeblahblahblah.” 

     It took him all of about 11 minutes and 4 seconds to stick the lighted branches in the metal trunk, and then it was my turn to decorate. I love decorating the tree. I took the liberty of using a couple of ounces of propane to turn on the fireplace, and I negotiated Johnny Mattress’s Best Holiday Tunes on the stereo. Ah, beautiful. The only thing missing was a nice cup of wassail, but that has sugar, and God said in Thesoliums 4, verse 29, “thou shalt not have sugar.” So I merrily sang along to “It’s a Holly Jolly Christmas” while hanging each sentimental ornament. There was one from 1990, another from 2008, and still another from 1976. (Was I even born in the seventies? Hmm. Let’s see.) I would love to say I remember who gave me those ornaments, but I have no clue. I just know they lasted more than a year, so they are definitely sentimental. Then there’s the pictures of our grandchildren when they were months old. Each separate ornament shows them going from gums to baby teeth to gums again. Just what I love hanging on the tree--baby gums. The only sentimental thing about this tree is the fact that there used to be gifts under it for me. Now there are no gifts. I had to gather up a bunch of old stuffed animals to stick under there, so it wouldn’t announce to the world that I am soon to be giftless.  I guess that’s better than being toothless. Did I mention that my friend asked me last week if those were all my teeth.

     So the tree is all aglow, and the ornaments hang proudly listening to the hustle bustle of party-prepping and the exclamations of “Oh, your tree looks so nice.”  Watching our wonderful friends raising their glasses to toast each other in front of the glass ball from 2008, did send my heart a-pattering. Ah, the holidays.