Of Course We’re Going to Decorate!

Every other year we go to Connecticut to spend Christmas at my sister’s house.  I’ve lived in Florida for twenty-five years and before I got married I’d only spent one Christmas in Florida – and that was when I was so desperately sick I didn’t get out of bed for a week, and was out of work for three.  It’s  just not Christmas unless it’s cold, and snow is preferred.

Even though I’d go away for Christmas this  Jewish girl still wanted a tree.  I really prefer live trees, but they were not very practical since I would not be there to water it.  So years ago I bought a small, 4 foot artificial tree for those Christmases I’d be away.  Now that I’m married and only get to go North for Christmases on alternate years the faux tree comes in handy.

Husband, of course, thinks it’s ridiculous that I want to decorate for the holidays at all on those years we head north.  Sill man.  I don’t go all out, but a few favorite decorations go up, and yes, Virginia, there will be a tree.

Husband is a bit of a Scrooge.  He’ll be somewhat less so when we have a home where he doesn’t have to use a ladder to go into the attic to get the decorations down.

Well, I can hope.

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Perhaps Jewish girls shouldn’t have Christmas trees

I think He is trying to tell me something.

We put up our Christmas tree last Thursday, and all was well.

Then, yesterday, I attempted to put water in the base of our new tree stand, which I had bought on sale after Christmas last year. It’s a really cool stand – supposed to be one-person workable, easy as pie, make your Christmas even better. We were impressed.

And the tree looked beautiful. It was a perfect tree. The One. We’d had The Moment. You know, that moment when you just look at each other and know you’ve found the perfect tree.

We decorated it, and it looked lovely. Then, yesterday, I tried to put water in it. It did not go well.

The tree fell over. Yes, it really did.

The stand had broken, in a way that my post-tragedy online research has revealed is all too common with this type of stand.

Okay. We lost a few ornaments, nothing too tragic. We put the tree in a bucket so it wouldn’t dry out, cleaned up the mess and planned to go out in search of another stand today.

Which I did. I had to break my promise not to purchase any more Christmas stuff this year. I bought a very plain, regular stand. No muss, no fuss.

So, tonight we tried to put up the tree again. Tried being the operative word.

Seems the tree’s trunk is too narrow for the stand I bought.

Yes, it really is.

My husband now insists that he’s done, and this is the last real tree we’ll ever have. We’re supposed to immediately purchase a faux tree, complete with lights for next year.

As if.

So, tomorrow I have to go out and buy yet another tree stand. And if this doesn’t work, I don’t have to worry about what He is trying to tell me because the other “he” in my life, my dear husband, will throw the tree out the window.

Why does a Jewish girl have so much Christmas paraphernalia?

I love Christmas decorations. I love Santa. I love Christmas trees. We’ve had one in our home every year since my parents divorced. To me it’s not a religious symbol – it’s more of a symbol of winter. It’s fun and magical and fills me with the same child-like excitement I’ve had, well, ever since I was a child.

I can’t not smile when I’m driving through a neighborhood and see the lit Christmas Tree through the living room window of this house, and the twinkling lights surrounding all of the bushes of that house a few doors down. The single candle burning in every one of the twelve front-facing windows of the Colonial down the street always makes me feel warm and cozy, and that the people inside are waiting to welcome someone else home.

There’s just something so wonderful about it all.

Still, I promised myself that this year I would not buy any Christmas paraphernalia. No fiber optic toy trains, no beautiful stained-glass ornaments, no berry wreaths. I’m not just talking about what’s for sale now – my promise includes after-Christmas sale gift wrap, cute 90% off tchochkes and other Christmas kitsch, and super-duper cheap Christmas cards.

Why? Well, I already have so much. Boxes and boxes of it. So much that every year my husband dreads going up into our attic to get it all down. He complains loudly enough that the last two years I’ve only asked him to bring down half – and we still had plenty.

Also, I just don’t want to spend the money. We have some big expenses right now, and every dollar I’d spend on Christmas decorations would be one dollar less to pay our bills and go into savings.

Sometimes it sucks being an adult.

I do have some advice, though, for others making the same promise as I. Stay away from Cracker Barrel. Their store is filled with wonderful Christmas dishes, ornaments, clothing and various other glittering and glistening and noisy kitsch that was oh, so very hard to resist.

But resist it I did. Yay me!

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