Oh! Christmas tree!
November 30, 2007
Growing up, decorating for Christmas is something my parents take very seriously. In the front yard, they cover the whole roof, all of the windows and every last tree, bush or shrub, with lights. There is at least one tree, that has blinking lights synchronized to a selection of loud electronic Christmas carols (to our neighbor’s chagrin). The lawn has a herd of lit mechanical reindeer (that the aforementioned neighbors have been know to rearrange in various naughty positions when no one’s looking.) Inside the house, there are wreaths, lights, mistletoe, snowmen, santas, nativities, and stockings. They even have 3 Christmas trees, yes THREE. My Mom couldn’t decide between two styles of ornaments AND she couldn’t bear to get rid of her grandmother’s vintage tree. So she has three different trees, now. The “main” Christmas tree is over 9 feet tall and underneath it is where my mom sets up her ceramic Christmas village that is encircled by a festive train. Every year my Mom collects new buildings, trees, figurines and other things to add to her village. It has gotten so big, that that this year it has officially been declared a “Christmas metropolitan area”.
With so many decorations, putting them up each year became an increasingly tedious process, and I became increasingly grinch-like with each successive holiday season. But now that I have my own family, I’m starting to warm up to the idea of Christmas decorations again. I mean, how can you resist the excited squeals of a two year old when you do something as simple as plugging in a string of lights?
I was especially excited for this year, because, at 2 1/2, Adgie is even more aware and excited about the world around him. As I set up our fake treea few days ago, he giggled with delight. His eyes were filled with wonder as I opened up our box filled with glistening round glass ornaments. When I was done unwrapping most of them, I got up to quickly use the bathroom. Adgie had been in a very calm mood, and had listened to me when I asked him not to touch the ornaments. But when I came out of the bathroom, I saw him standing in the box of ornaments, furiously stomping on them like a grape-stomper in a barrel of grapes.
After I threw away the broken remains of the ornaments, I went to the store in search of cheap, non-glass ornaments. I came home with a stack of pretty paper. I had decided to make little paper, origami ornaments, instead. Though it would be a little tedious, there wouldn’t be glass shards everywhere, should Adgie have a surge of destructiveness come upon him again.
About an hour of cutting and folding, I had a small collection of paper ornaments done. I placed them on the tree, and stood back to see to see how they looked so far.
I think Christmas ornaments may be for Adgie, what a red cape is for an angry bull, because as soon as he saw the origami on the tree, he ran up and grabbed the ornaments he could reach, and began crumpling them and ripping them to pieces. *sigh*
While Adgie served his longer than usual time-out sentence, I wondered whether our tree may only have lights on it this year unless I could think of a cheap, unbreakable alternative for ornaments. I rummaged through our closet for ideas and came across a big bag of colorful plastic balls. You know, the ones you might find in a ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese? They went with an inflatable ball pit that Adgie got for his birthday one year, but it had been punctured by a rowdy cousin, so I had all of these unbreakable plastic balls without a home…