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Fine then. Done then.

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Friday, January 9, 2004 at 11:51 am by flerly.

It’s practically a ritual. At some point on New Year’s Day, JamesT and myself will have a little banter that goes something like:

“I don’t want to take my Christmas tree down until June this year.”
“Why take it down at all?”
“Oh, yes. I can just redecorate it for the various holidays through the year. That’ll be fun. Wonder where we get Groundhog Day ornaments?”

And then, again, almost like a ritual, around the second weekend in January, it comes down, and I have as much fun packing it up as I did putting it up. I’m a total freak, and thus, I love admiring each stupid ornament, checking for the names and dates on the back, thinking back to the many years past of buying ornaments for people who were in my life. But this year, packing it up, I realized as I picked up my oldest ornament, dated 1994, that I’ve been keeping up this ritual for 10 years now. Just seemed momentous to me, I guess.

In 1989 (year I moved out on my own – 17 years old), I had a 3-foot-tall, hand-me-down tree, complete with goofy crochet ornaments and ribbons which were permanently attached. In 1990, I worked Christmas season at K-mart, and got a 6-foot fake tree with my employee discount, along with a ton of goofy Christmas balls, puffy garland, lights, the works. If I recall correctly the 90-93 years had the tree looking like something Prince would design, purples and gold, shiny, satin, every inch covered with crap.

The Breakup of ’94, also known as the “get-the-fuck-out-and-leave-everything” year, meant I had to start Christmas decorating all over. This time it was a hand-me-down 6-foot tree from the storeroom of the place I worked. This time I decided to stop buying every shiny thing I saw at the store and focus on making it more personal and special. Thus the Santa ornament collection began, along with the tradition of putting names and dates on at least one new ornament every year. At first I had to buy a box or two of generic Christmas balls just to fill in the gaps, but over the years the Santas have become numerous. Joined a few years ago by a small Snowman collection, now I’m lucky if I have room to put a handful of shiny Christmas balls on the tree, just so Kitty will have something to play with.

Kitty picked a favorite Christmas ball this year and it was the only one she went after. She knocked it loose from its hanger and rolled it around on the floor a time or two, until I finally got fed up and just sat the thing back in the tree instead of rehanging it and making her job harder. Last year her determination to get a ball off the hanger meant she climbed the tree long enough to bring it down and break the base, so this year was the first with the, yet again, hand-me-down tree, this time from Mom.

Thinking of mom and looking at all these ornaments with names, made me think that mom & dad have never come to visit me over Christmas. If they did, they’d have had an ornament. I wondered vaguely why I didn’t buy an ornament for Daddy, for the Christmas after he died. I guess I’m glad I didn’t buy anything. That just wouldn’t be right. It already freaks me out a little to think that Daddy never saw my car… that’s how long it’s been.

Anyway… so, all this amounts to is that I made up my mind to call my mom and ask her if it would be okay to pick out a couple ornaments from her collection to put on my tree. She doesn’t even put one up anymore, and I think maybe it might be nice to go through her collection with her, just to think about Christmas past.

10 years. It took me that long to learn to pack my stuff neatly away in two storage totes. I swear, every year I think all this stuff will never fit back in there as I practically have to sit on the lids to close them, but this year, I did the best packing job ever. There’s room for more, which scares me as I wander through the house looking for things I forgot to pack up, finding nothing.

Oh well. More room for stuff in year 11.


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