If you’ve read my previous posts complaining about the ubiquitousness of pumpkin spice and my disdain for turkeys, you may be expecting that my December post will contain some Andy Rooneyesque rant about reindeer or Santa Claus, but don’t worry, I’m not about to dash your dreams of dancing sugar plums. On the contrary, I have always approached all things Christmas with the glee of a slightly demented elf. In fact, I think you could sum up my holiday philosophy with these words of wisdom I once read on a T-shirt– “Jingle all the way. Nobody likes a half-assed jingler.” When it comes to Christmas decorating, I definitely jingle ALL THE WAY.
My love of the holiday is so extreme that, as you may have noticed, I even designed my house around a Christmas color scheme of red, green and yellow. The great thing about this, is that it makes the perfect backdrop for my plethora of ornaments, garlands, and most especially my many trees. I think it’s fun to build your Christmas decor around, you guessed it–a theme. Like the Lorax, I have always loved trees, and so naturally, I chose the majestic Tannenbaum as the primary motif for decking my halls. When you stop and think about it, a Christmas tree is such a crazy but wonderful idea. It totally speaks to my love of the absurd. In any other context it would be completely ridiculous, but during the Yuletide, no one bats an eyelash at the idea of bringing a full grown pine tree into the house. The comedian Jim Gaffigan does a great bit about holiday traditions in which he suggests that bringing a Christmas tree home sounds like something a drunk person would do. (Check it out, it’s hilarious). Anyway, not including our real tree, as of this year, I have over 30 tabletop trees all over my house. They are made of resin, cardboard, felt, berries, pine cones, and even paper but the one thing they all have in common is that they bring me joy and evoke memories of all of the Christmases past.
One of my strongest memories of Christmas trees is from my childhood. As a kid growing up in Pennsylvania, my family would travel out into the snowy countryside to a tree farm, ride in a sleigh, cut down a much-deliberated-on tree, have hot chocolate and return home for the traditional “swearing in of the Christmas tree.” Something about trying to screw in those four bolts evenly on that flimsy little stand never failed to send my poor dad into fits of apoplexy that brought forth some of his most colorful and inventive invectives. While recollections of this curse-fest may not seem particularly rosy, my sisters and I all remember this and fondly reminisce about it frequently. The memory of that shared experience connects us, and I think that that connectivity is what makes Christmas so special to me.
I hope you enjoy the holiday tour of my Christmas “treehouse.”
I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and when you look at your own Christmas tree, remember to savor the memories with your friends and family.