Wednesday, December 24, 2014

O Christmas tree

I have to admit that I am a bit conflicted about Christmas trees. On the one hand, I love them. They are so lovely and they smell divine --  a little piece of Mother Nature right in your very own home. However, watching the machine that is the "Christmas tree lot," is mind boggling.

Just how many trees are cut down each year in November and December, only to be thrown out in December or January? I know that some people make their living doing this, but geez, it's A LOT of trees.

I suggested a fake tree, a worse abomination in some ways, but perhaps the better call, environmentally, if you're going to use it for 10+ years? But don't worry, I was quickly and noisily drowned out by a small chorus of "NOs." And yeah, deep down, where it counts, I guess I have to agree.

So, a Christmas tree. We got one again this year. And unsurprisingly, we decorated it. Me mostly, while the kids ransacked the boxes of ornaments, pulling them out for a quick nostalgic moment, only to just as quickly cast them aside, all over the sofa. (Be careful! becoming my mantra.)

So there you have it. A decorated tree. Again this year. End of story, right?

It should be, but I couldn't help noticing that so many other decorated trees have a totally different look and feel than does ours. There are so many picture-perfect trees shining through neighbors' front windows, color coordinated with lofty, illuminated angels; trees with judiciously chosen ornament themes; trees wrapped with "cascading tendrils of colorful ribbon"; trees all over the place that Martha would be be willing to lay claim to.

Here's the big tree over there at that fancy Coronado hotel.

It is both color coordinated and has an ornament theme.

Which is apparently weird, white Santas.

I even saw a tree, and I won't name names here, where the tree ornaments matched the wrapping paper underneath! (Oh, actually I see that they do in the photo above too, but I was referring to someone I know's home.)

Am I doing it wrong?

With my tinfoil covered cardboard star?

And my ornaments from my and my children's childhoods?

With ornaments actually dating as far back as 1906 because my mom gave me all of her ornaments from her life as well.

(Although I think this one is actually from the late 1940s)
With myriad ornaments that take me right back to Christmases past spent with since-divorced spouses.

Circa the Michael years.

And the fewer Tommy years.
With it's photo ornaments that forever preserve my babies as, well, babies.

Hmm, are there only two of these? 

But still with ample room left to fit new ornaments from life's ever-ongoing momentous occasions.

Turtles commemorating my mom's 70th birthday in Maui this year

My mom actually had a fancy tree period, while with my step dad. He ordered gold plated(?) ornaments that came in fancy boxes with velvet lining, and I must admit, their decorated tree was stunning. (You can see an example of an ornament above, to the left of the turtles.) But somehow, it wasn't quite right. It was devoid of something. It didn't have that, yeah-it's-crazy-messy-life-and-some-of-it-is-falling-apart-and-gaudy-while-other-parts-are-shiny-and-full-of-love feel. If you know what I mean.

It's pretty to have a put-together tree. It would be pretty to have a put-together life, but me, well, I guess I'm going more for the keeping-it-real look. The good with the bad, the successes with the failures, the one-winged angel with the popsicle-stick tree.

Our tree, well, it might not be pretty, but it's organic. And as we all know from biting into that deformed, bulbous, home-grown, juicy organic tomato, those are the very best kind.

Merry Christmas to all. xoxo



jacquie said...

Merry Christmas, Beth! Your tree is beautiful, as are you. Dome of my favorite ornaments on my mish mosh imperfect tree are the ones you have given me!


Me, You, or Ellie said...

It's spectacular! I love it. It's gorgeous, as are your girls. As are you! What a story those ornaments tell....

Happy Merry Love and Peace.


Pat said...

And it is such a nice reminder of my entire life.
Please don't change a thing.
Love, Mom