I do not love all the ornaments on our Christmas tree.
Every year it is inevitable that someone will get a load of our Christmas tree and deem it “interesting.”
Interesting can mean a flurry of things, but most likely one of two: 1. The tree is so beautiful that you insure it from theft by Martha Stewart herself, or 2) The tree is so ugly that at the slightest glance it draws in your gaze and burns your retinas, accomplishing two divergent ends: blinding you and saving you from further harm.
Our tree falls somewhere in the lower-middle end of the beauty spectrum. The hodge-podge of ornaments on the thing and the dark-light effect it displays due to new portions of the lights dimming each year (it’s a pre-lit artificial tree, kids) guarantee that our tree will not be featured on anyone’s Most Beautiful Christmas Tree list, ever.
I blame my husband, who is in charge of our tree each year, and in addition to his inability to change with the times and unwillingness to adapt traditions, also has no eye for design or what looks nice at all in the history of the world. I know my judgments are harsh. Let me give you a life lesson: the truth is harsh, and in our house this means that our Christmas tree is ugly. But he does try, and he doesn’t complain, which is more than anyone can say about me on this matter. I love him for both of these things. Let’s move on.
We were November newlyweds, which meant that from Christmas Tree One we had a fully decorated tree. We received many ornament gifts; no less than 89 were bride/groom ornaments, and of those, 99% of them were Barbie and (one) Ken.
Let’s talk more about Barbie. Because I loved Barbies and played with them until I was too old to play with Barbies (I was 14), I received a Barbie ornament each year. My mother gifted them to me when I moved out because she is thoughtful and - I realize now - highly intelligent. We display 157 of them, each one cheaper and uglier than the last. Because my daughter loves Barbies and is on the fast track to also being awkwardly too old to play with them, I inexplicably buy her a Barbie ornament every year. Up on the tree it goes. Our tree is a veritable whorehouse of Barbies, tempting the one (always newly married) Ken each year with their unnaturally open-eyed stares and plastic ball gowns.
Fair distribution of unsightliness across family members means that our son has his own collection of less-than-appealing ornaments. Let’s discuss the ugly factor of Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Yoda, and various spacecraft, which includes but is not limited to: TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, Land Speeder, and Star Destroyer. Star Wars bears no resemblance to Christmas in the slightest, yet we have them all. Yesterday I saw a new Jabba the Hutt ornament at the mall. I put my foot down at putting that snot monster on my tree.
I’m probably the biggest Spongebob Squarepants fan out here, but I do not want him on my Christmas Tree. Spongebob is ugly times a billion. Same goes for Blues Clues, Jimmy Neutron, Barney, My Little Pony, Elmo, and whatever licensed character my children loved for a year and we bought as an ornament that they care for not at all today. *Editor’s note: This is the first year that I was able to convince my husband to leave some of them off the tree. Little victories.
We have Disney-themed ornaments: The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Lion King, Disney Princesses (joining Barbie in her ever-growing harem), Winnie-the-Pooh. We have Scarlett O’Hara and Humphrey Bogart. Metal tractors and cars. A whole slew of Victorian-themed ornaments that would be pretty on a Victorian-themed tree, notsomuch on ours. We have a football. We have a bear playing football. We have two hundred Penn.State.Santas.
And we have every single ornament that our children have ever made from preschool to now, glued and crayoned and faded and wrinkled. If the hanger comes detached, we just stick it in among the branches. Because they are ugly, we hang them on the back side of the tree, which becomes the front side to everyone who sees it through the window.
There’s so much potential for a beautiful tree every year. Every year, when I take it down, I combine themed ornaments in the hopes that next year when I say “leave that box in the basement,” I will not have to look at them. And every year, I find them all hanging up on the tree, my wishes falling on deaf ears. After all, these ornaments are meaningful. Each one tells a story, Andrea. Stop being such a Scrooge.
Sigh. I’d like to think that Scrooge at least knew what looked nice.
|Note the dark spots. Try not to see them now.|
Welcome to my nightmare.
|It's so nice when your neighbors can see the beautiful things in your home.|
|A wide shot of three cherished objects: Darth Vader, a Winnie the Pooh frame of us in younger years featuring my worst haircut, and the right half of a plastic reindeer playing basketball. Classic.|
|Scarlett O'Hara holding court with something scribbled. Maybe holly. |
The white face is an arctic seal! Adorable.
|Who else besides us knows that Sleeping Beauty is also a tanning bed addict?|
|Never saw one Humphrey Bogart movie.|
|Et tu, Yoda?|
|Yeah, I don't know.|
|I don't know about you, but the Boogieman and a skeleton dressed up as Santa SCREAMS Christmas.|
This post inspired by:
Prompt #3: A favorite Christmas ornament.