“The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!”

Sorry for yesterday, but I lost the whole day working on Christmas. Skip, my factotum, came just as I had sat down at the computer to start Coffee so I had to abandon my efforts.

The decorating was a joint venture: Skip hauled boxes from the cellar while I decorated. I know a lot of my traditional decorations never made it upstairs, but I’m okay with that. Change is good.

After we finished the house and Skip had put the boxes away, we went and got the tree. I picked the most beautiful tree, no question about it. The top touches the ceiling and its boughs are full and lovely. The tree is a bit big so it took both of us to get it in the stand. I left Skip to put the lights on by himself and came in here to try to write Coffee. When I checked on Skip’s progress, I realized he is the worst light man I’ve ever seen. Some parts of the tree looked like Times Square while other parts resembled light less alleyways. I had him take off the lights, and together we began again. By the time we were through it was five o’clock, far too late for Coffee. Besides, my back had me twisted and bent so I decided to sit on the couch and rest my weary bones.

When I came downstairs this morning, the aroma from the tree filled the house, and I was reminded of every Christmas as far back as I can remember. Putting the tree up made it officially Christmas time. My parents kept the ornaments in cardboard boxes labeled Christmas on the side. The lights were jumbled together in one box, another held the strands of tinsel packed neatly by my mother, the stockings and table cloths filled another and the last box had all the ornaments. Many were glass. The largest glass ones only my mother could put on the tree, and they went placed near the top safely away from any of us. Other ornaments were cardboard. A couple were of Coca Cola Santa. A few ornaments were plastic. I think now I’d probably think them tacky, but they were never tacky when I was a kid. They were Christmas with all its wonder and joy.

Once the tree was done, all the living room lights were turned off, and my dad would plug-in the tree with a bit of a flourish. I remember none of us ever spoke a word. We just stood there for a while. Finally my mother would break the silence and just say, “Beautiful!”

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18 Comments on ““The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!””

  1. olof1 Says:

    All our decorations and the lights in its carbord box was placed in an old suitcase. That suitcase was old already when I was a chid and I guess it must be almost 70 years old by now, but I still keep all the decorations and lights in it. Every time I open it up it smells christmas 🙂

    Most our decorations were glass ones but there were some made by us children made of paper and we had a few plastic ones too. But with the dogs and cats passing my home more have become plastic ones and less glass 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Since I’m having my tiny little tree this year I can finally use some of those decorations again. Not in the tree though, it is much to small for that 🙂 But I can place them around it instead.

    I’m just glad nothing bad had happened yesterday 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      When I had mine in cardboard boxes, the mice ate several of the cloth ornamanets, homemade ones, and they tasted a few others when ended up having chunks out of them. Now I use plastic, and the mice are out of luck.

      Decorations which have come through the years are my favorite. I thought of that when I put one of the big ornaments way at the top the way my mpther used to.

      My tree has some pretty ugly ornamenst, and I love them.

      Shauna, another Boxer of mine, ate the popcorn and candy canes off the tree at my mother’s.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,

    A silence followed by a “Beautiful” must be the traditional Christmas tree blessing.

    Enjoy the day. 🙂

  3. Bob Says:

    Decorating the tree and the house for the holidays must be one of life’s great pleasures for Christians. After reading your posts the last week or so I have come to the conclusion that decorating has any real religious significance, it’s just plain old fun. Today is cold with a steady rain here in North Texas. I could use a little brightness and joy. December weather in the Northern hemisphere requires a lot artificial joy.

    A couple of years ago I was waiting to depart from Dubai in December to fly home. In the Emirates Airline terminal stood one small artificial Christmas tree which was decorated with a few ornaments and lights. It looked out of place with the warm sun streaming into the building through the huge glass windows. It was a sharp contrast to the sound of the recorded call to prayer streaming over the PA system. I was amazed that no one entered the prayer room nearby. Was this tree a small acknowledgment to Christianity in a Muslim country, or was it an attempt to bring a little joy into December regardless of the weather? Of course there was no Chanukah Menorah.

    I had spent a dreary rainy week before in Brussels. The Christmas decorations in the main square of the old part of town brightened up the cold, damp and early darkness of Northern Europe. All the tourists and I trudged around the area snapping photos and enjoying the old buildings, the shops, the stalls and eating waffles while shivering in the wet streets. But, it was brighter and happier because it was December and not January.

    January 2nd always seems like the dreariest day of the year. Stacks of Christmas trees line the street waiting for the city tree chipper to send them to their final resting place providing mulch for the city parks.

    • olof1 Says:

      I doubt it was an acknowledgment to christianity but a flirt with western tourists 🙂 But most muslims has nothing against christains to be honest, Jesus is their second most important profet after Mohammed. Most christians doesn’t know that or care. They also see Abraham as one of their most important profets. Mohammed never sais he created a new religion.


      • Bob Says:

        You may be right about the tree as an acknowledgment to western tourists, but Muslims don’t believe that Jesus is the second most important prophet. They believe that Jesus and Abraham’s religions have been succeeded by Mohamed. One day in the next 20 years European Christians will wake up and find themselves living as a minority in Muslim controlled countries.

        Muslims in Europe are having large families and they are not assimilating into western society, but they are maintaining their Islamic beliefs and will eventually come into political majority and declare Islam official state religions in Western Europe. There was no such thing as reformation in Islam nor any idea of the separation of religion and state. The following article appeared today on the CNN website and provides interesting reading on the subject.


    • katry Says:

      You’re right: decorating is just plain fun. When we were kids, we made ornaments for the tree. My mother would put newspapers on the kitchen table and we’d use glue and glitter, pipe cleaners and whatever else she’d find. It was with great pride we’d put them on the tree.

      In Africa, the weather was different but no less intolerable. It felt strange to be so hot at Christmas. We had none of the trappings of the season there, but we still had a wonderful Christmas.

      The tree in Dubai was probably for the Christians traveling through to give them a taste of Christmas.

      I love Brussels. I was there in the spring, and it was beautiful.

      The dump gets filled with trees for use at the beaches. They are used to keep the sand from shifting.

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    Well, we changed our plans. Live tree it is again this year because without the kids Ann wants to decorate it with white bulb strings and all the ornaments she gave me, all bears, for each year we were married, 38, so it will be a small tree but I do like her idea. It’s different. We will have a bear tree with the Raggedly Ann we gave Rebecca when she was born to adorn the top of the tree. All we need is that train set. Sorry you stretched too much. It’s probably worth it, I’m sure, but take it easy. It’s no fun spending Christmas in the hospital. I know.

    • katry Says:

      Good for Ann! The tree sounds great. Your house will smell wonderful!

      My back is still awful tonight, but I will take it easy. I promise.

  5. Hedley Says:

    The tree came out of the basement early yesterday, the new LED lights went on and we waited for the arrival of the Prince to decorate. This year he was more interested in tearing the boxes apart than putting the items on the branches.
    One of our great tradition has always been the hand made school ornaments of the kids (who are now 33, 25 and 23). They are constantly on the move as they reposition their own photos to the front and hide the others.
    This morning I found my 23 year old daughter up the ladder upholding the tradition. Very glad that some things never change.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I love the moving of the ornaments. It sounds like such fun and your kis will pass it on to their kids. That’s the way it happens!

      My nephew and niece used to put all sorts of figures in the manger like a small Darth Vader, legos and whatever else they’d find. They’d then wait for my sister to notice.

      I think boxes are great fun.

      • Hedley Says:

        I once set up my Mother’s nativity in the microwave…it did bring a modern theme to the stable.
        My daughter reminded me that the rule is that the ornament has to remain on the tree.

  6. Bubba Says:

  7. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hey Kat!

    Most of my Christmas stuff is in storage, but the last time I was there I pulled a Santa hat (decorated with a Mets logo) from a box and plan on wearing it this holiday season…it’s become my contribution to the family festivities. It looks kinda stupid, but it brings out smiles, and that’s part of what the holiday is about…

    Yesterday the kids in my house went and brought me MY Christmas stocking. It will hang on the bannister with all the others – Mom, Julia, Piper, and Charlie – – and the most famous dog of all – – Haley. It is done according to age, so mine is near the top. 🙂

    I’d fogotten how much you have to be careful so the dog’s tail doesn’t damage any ornaments!

    Rest up – – you don’t want to miss a single thing this holiday season!


    • katry Says:

      Hi Colleen,
      I never figured Santa for a Mets fan! I love the description of your hat, and the holiday is certainly about joy and fun.

      Nothing prettier than all those stockings lined up and waiting for Santa to fill.

      Naps-I’ve never been opposed to naps!

  8. katry Says:

    My Dear Hedley,
    Having it stay on the tree makes the game even more interesting!

    I can’t envision the Nativity meeting the microwave.

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