Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

The Department Store Tree

When we were packing up the house in Atlanta and choosing what to ship to Ireland and what to put into storage for two years, I have to admit…..I was not in my right state of mind. I was on drugs. Hard, heavy drugs…..the kind they give you
when you’ve just been sliced open for the third time, while having your fourth baby. So, I did not put up the usual fight that I would have on some items. John was totally of the school of “Let’s put everything into storage and just buy everything new there”, more or less. I was more of the school of “Ehhhh…..whatever. I love Vicodin.” But the thing that stinks was that I had just enrolled in that school. I hadn’t even bought the sweatshirt yet. I had been a life-long student at “ I love my things and attach sentimental value to them” school. But not of the hoarder variety. Like, I don’t think an empty Saltines box has sentimental value, because we always ate Saltines as kids or crap like that. So, of the many, many things that we agreed (me on drugs, remember?) to leave behind was every single Christmas item. After ten years of marriage, one more living together and four kids, we had amassed a lot of great stuff. And yes, I do weed it out every year. Some things are just meant to be around for one Christmas, then into the bin they go. Others are lifelong keepsakes.

So, when we got back from Atlanta for the Thanksgiving visit, we set about getting the Dublin house ready for Christmas. Now we needed a tree, lights, ornaments, stockings, stocking hangers (the mantle is stone so nails are out.), decorations for the house, a wreath, etc. etc. We got a great tree…..about 9 feet that fits right in the front bay window of our house. Our house in Atlanta never had a good spot for the tree. We had it in four different rooms over the 5 years we lived there, including the dining room. That was a weird year. Anyway, John and the kids went out to get lights and decorations. They came back with packs and packs of beautiful things and we trimmed the tree happily. Afterwards, the result was quite stunning. But here’s the thing…..there was no emotion for me. Yeah, it was fun trimming the tree with the kids and they had a great time. But we were done in about a quarter of the time that it normally takes us. And that’s because there was no stopping as we unwrapped each old ornament to reminisce about when we got it and where and who should get to hang it. All the ornaments (about 200) came in plastic sleeves, big groups in each pack. Afterwards, I commented to John that the tree looked great, but I missed our old ornaments. And his response was “Oh, no! I love this tree. It’s the way
I’ve always wanted a tree. ….like a department store tree!”.  And so there is was. The difference between how we grew up, demonstrated in a Christmas tree. Getting the ornaments one by one, out of choice, “collecting” them over the years is one thing. It builds nostalgia. But if you feel like you can’t get all the ornaments at once, what could be greater than instant-perfect-tree? So, now I love the tree. Because it makes John happy, in that I-got-something-that-I-always-wanted kind of way. And that makes me happy. Plus, the tree IS pretty damn awesome. Matchy-matchness and all.

December 23, 2011 - Posted by gothamfamily