Ho, ho, ho and Merry Christmas weren’t really heard in my house. Not that we didn’t celebrate the, we did, but it didn’t bring out the best in my nuclear family.
My dad wore Christmas, truly, he worked in the Christmas tree fields seasonally. And each year, said trees have to be painted green. Yup, there’s the big secret, the trees are naturally pink, so they paint them green. Or, they grow green but need to be treated with pesticides which are put in a green “paint” solution. Yes, yes, yes, the second explanation is a little more logical, but the pink thing? Way more fun to tell the other little kids in your class when you’re a kid. Those big eyes when you tell them Christmas trees are really pink–priceless!!
But his Christmas cheer didn’t go past skin deep. He hated not having money to buy lots of presents. He really hated tracking back through the lights to find the burnt out bulb. And he didn’t do any decorating past that.
From that point on, it was me and my mom. We put up ornaments and cute little decorations around the house. It was nothing elaborate, but it worked for us.
Then the days of the stupid needles falling off, trying all different solutions to make them stay on longer, the counter weights needed on the tree to keep it from falling over and still hearing the “crash” at least once per season.
My mom would Christmas shop at sales, yard sales, bargain hunting from December 26th on each year. So we had gifts, but money was always an issue. Always. And it made my folks grumpy. With themselves, with each other, and with the season that taxed an already tight budget.
The days of glitz and lights brought little cheer to our house. Come Christmas morning I never felt cheated in presents to open, but I knew the season was not a favorite around our house.
The disappointment, the fights, the arguments kept it from being an exciting time for us.
Over the years, my folks went their own separate ways. My mom found someone who loves decorating for holidays and she continues her skill at shopping year round. They have their tree up early each year, lights spread around and garland up and down.
I don’t. No early here. None. I prefer the later the better. I hate having the furniture moved around to accommodate the tree. I hate having to tell the girls not to touch or to be careful. I don’t enjoy the process of getting the tree out of the box, the branches spread out, ornaments unpacked. The one and only part I enjoy is sitting in the living room with just the tree lights on. But a week of that is enough.
I have seen more than one post today on Facebook talking about when people put up their tree, with many saying today. And then there is me–“as late as possible” or “skip it due to lack of interest.” Too bad that last one is unacceptable. And the other is out of fashion.
Because me, I’d rather be over here ignoring the bling of the season.