…And I still haven’t done any of my shopping. Strangely, I’m fully stocked with wrapping paper, bows, cards, and other packaging materials. All of it is currently sitting idly in my living room, glaring at me. I’ve never seen such angry-looking wrapping paper.
My Christmas tree is up and decorated. And ya’ll… it’s kind of a disaster.
When I went to Target last weekend to buy my fake tree, I pretty much knew this venture would be a lost cause. Apparently, one is supposed to buy the fake Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving. Since I didn’t get that memo (one memo among several other important memos), I had slim pickings in the fake tree aisle. Ultimately, I selected a 6-foot tree with colored lights.
I should probably mention that I purchased all of my ornaments about a month ago, because I managed to hit a sale at Michael’s entirely by accident. My theme was “No Sex for Christmas,” --- all blue balls and frigid silver and white tinsel all at reasonable prices.
As the lady scanned in my fake tree with multi-colored lights, the tiny gay man with exquisite tastes who resides somewhere in my right-dominated brain began to wring his hands with agitation. I had to assure him as we pulled out of the parking lot that the colored lights wouldn’t interfere with my cold and wintry ornamental motif, and even if it did, this was the only decent tree left in the store and I was absolutely NOT going to Walmart, so don’t even ask.
But honestly, I might have been just a teensy bit worried, too.
When I got home, I put the tree together. It was just as easy as the box implied; although I did have to wrestle some of the branches into position to keep my tree from looking like three hurricane-ravaged beach umbrellas stacked one on top of the other. After putting the tree in place, I tested the lights and I was pleased with the results. The lights, though indeed multi-colored, didn’t seem garish or tacky, mostly because there weren’t as many as I’d feared.
I unplugged the light display and began the decorating process, starting with my cheap silver tinsel. With the tinsel perfectly wound in a tight spiral, it was time for the blue, white, and silver balls. My plan was simple: a healthy amount of large balls strategically placed evenly around the tree, followed by twice as many medium balls to surround them, and finishing with a healthy smattering of small balls to fill in the empty spaces. The end result was breath-taking; a glittering, shiny, absolutely chilling display of wintry spirit, that could be perceived as depressing, if it wasn’t so gosh darn sparkly.
The tiny gay man in my head squeee’d with delight at the classy and elegant holiday concoction before him. It was as if we had just single-handedly saved Christmas.
And then I plugged in the lights.
Cue the trombone… Wah, wah, waaaaaaaahhhhhhhh…
Believe me, I’ve tried to take a photo that captures the fug I have unleashed upon my apartment (and the world), but my camera can’t seem to do it justice. Apparently, this kind of fug is so powerful, it is also elusive. You’ll just have to trust me when I say that the colored lights drown out all the beautiful and poignant things I was trying to do with the ornaments, leaving me with just another tickety-tack fake Christmas tree.
The tiny gay man in my head was INCONSOLABLE.
That was about two weekends ago. Now that I’ve lived with the Holiday Monstrosity (as I’ve begun to call it) for almost two weeks, I’ve almost become attached to it in spite of myself (don’t tell the tiny gay man). I considered going out and buying new ornaments – some red, gold, and green things that may compliment all those dizzying colors better than my blues, whites, and silvers. I also considered buying some strings of white lights to put over the colored ones (which come attached to the tree). But then I thought… how completely out of the spirit could I be? I’ve already spent waaaay too much money on this venture (tree, ornaments, tree-skirt, etc.), how silly would I have to be to rationalize going out and spending even more? I should just be grateful I have a tree at all.
Yes, I may just have to learn to love this tree, in all its fugly glory. Maybe the lights don’t match the ornaments; maybe the colors are so loud and inappropriate they could trigger epilepsy; maybe the tree is listing to the left so much that it could renamed the Leaning Tower of Bethlehem; maybe all of these things.
But it’s still a Christmas tree and it’s still mine. And I love it (I think).