Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Importance of Ornamentation

Cutting down a live evergreen, installing it in your house into a heavy duty vase, then embellishing it with little trinkets and lights is just plain weird. Yet, every year we look forward to the piney smell, the sparkling lights, revisiting our favorite ornaments, adding new ornaments, and making little stories up about the goings-on between the little figurines hanging there (if not to the constant watering and needle clean-up).

In this one minute look at our efforts and effects, you can see a few of our plastic couples kissing, actual photographs of family, the Christmas puppies looking frightened of the Michael Vick NFL series figurine, and the macabre world of Tim Burton spilling over onto the now headless Felicity of American Girl fame. Except for a few NYC ornaments, our places visited collection seem to be missing among the boxes in the holiday decorating production staging area (aka: the living/dining room).

Then there are the casualties. Two years ago, BOOM! Our lovely glass Harry Potter ornament and some old personalized Elmo and Cookie Monster pom-poms on glass shattered as the tree timbered! (Some of our elves have not yet gotten over this devastating experience.) An entire bevy of Barbies have lost hands, heads, and hanging hooks, while handmade ornaments have snapped, crackled, and popped having been meant for the instant glee rather than long-term storage in extreme temperatures. For instance, my meticulous collection of resin dogs and frosty creatures from the 80s is still in perfect shape while the painted macaroni wreaths and laminated hand prints have disintegrated.

Still, I save them all - even those as-useless-as-blue-and-red-pom-poms remainders because, while they are no longer pretty on the tree, they are a tiny, instant, and wistful encapsulation of the growth of my family from year to year.

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