A song for the Christmas tree

Cat with Christmas lights wallpaper desktopnexus.com
Time to put up the lights!
Once again this year we didn’t get much of our decorating done during the long Thanksgiving weekend. Some of the blame goes to me trying to finish my novel by the end of the month for my Alternate NaNoWriMo. Part of the blames goes to the fact that we drove down to Mom’s the night before Thanksgiving and drove home Thanksgiving night itself, so we both slept in more than a bit longer than usual on the day after Thanksgiving.

And part of the blame goes to me having a really awful sinus headache on Sunday.

Our undecorated artificial tree.
Our tree, perfect for the overcrowded home.
Another part is the fact the we have way, way, way too many boxes of Christmas decorations. As one of our friends discovered a few years ago when he dropped by on the day I was packing this away. He was amazed at the labels on some of the big Roughtote containers, “Fruit-shaped Christmas Ornaments,” “Gold Christmas Ornament,” “Animal Ornaments Box 1,” “Blue and Silver Christmas,” “Silver Christmas and some Gold,” “Purple Christmas,” “Red Christmas,” “Burgundy Christmas,” “Gaslight and some Steampunk Christmas,” … I could go on.

Our tree always has a theme, and usually a color scheme. The year that the theme was “The Future!” we had Buzz Lightyear as the tree topper, a lot of the silver ornaments, all of my Star Trek ornaments, all of the Marvin the Martian ornaments from the “Looney Toons and other Cartoon Animals” ornament box (also know as Animal Ornaments Box 3), and then various weird or unusual ornaments that looked as if they might have been seen on a 1950s sci fi show’s christmas episode.

Each box has enough ornaments to pretty well cover our 7-foot tall artificial tree, and because we’ve done so many themes over the years, there is a lot to choose from if we’re doing a mix and match theme.

Last year the theme was My Little Pony, and we primarily decorated with a few hundred My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic blind bag toys. We had a few MLP ornaments, and a lot of ornaments that simply were things which reminded us of the art style of the cartoon. During this last year, my husband found more MLP ornaments and bought them, even though we had been planning to do a “Cocktail/Viva Las Vegas” theme this year based on some ornaments we had been given as presents recently.

So we decided to put off the Cocktail Christmas, and do a Cartoon Christmas. We have all those Disney and Looney Toons ornaments, as well as a lot of My Little Pony things, still, and it’s been a few years since all those Disney and Winnie the Pooh things have been on the tree.

My Darkwing Duck toy atop the not yet decorated tree.
Darkwing owns the night!
I was still layering on the lights when I asked Michael what we should use as the tree topper. He started suggested looking through our plushies for maybe a Tigger, and I suddenly remembered my Darkwing Duck plushie. He’s a more obscure cartoon character, and I have at least one friend who has expressed envy of that particular plushie, so…

My lights this year consist of first a layer of white LEDs spiraling up the entire tree (one-fifth of the white lights blink). Then I have a couple strings of five-color (red, golden-yellow, purple, blue, green) and a couple strings of seven-color LED lights (purple, red, blue, pink, orange, green, pale-yellow) alternating on a spiral down the tree. Finally, I have two short strings of these really large lights that consist of a big transparent globe filled with colored tinsel, and one LED of a similar color winding randomly through the middle.

Tree with more lights on it.
The Daring Duck of Mystery atop a tree of lights!
Since I didn’t unbox the tree until Wednesday evening, I have only gotten the lights and about a dozen ornaments.

Marvin the Martin in a flying saucer.
The first ornament on the tree was one of my Marvin the Martian ornaments.
Other than lights, the tree is pretty bare. I have a lot of Pony toys that can go on it, but first I need to dig the rest of the cartoon ornament boxes out of the basement, so that we have a nice mix all over the tree.

Two toys on the tree.
Two My Little Pony toys re-enact a scene from the show.
I always have a lot of fun figuring out what the tree theme is going to be. It’s usually something cute or silly. Being a taoist who was raised Southern Baptist, and now married to a pagan, my feelings about Christmas are at most ecumenical. My minimum requirements are that there be a tree, pretty lights (preferably lots and lots of lights), and ornaments that are both interesting and pleasing to the eye.

Of course, despite spending some of my career as a graphic artist, pleasing to my eye sometimes can mean more than a bit garish or otherwise over the top. But excess of decorations is a fundamental trait of my personality, so that sort of thing is to be expected.

While I love to have friends over to see the decorations, the truth is that their primary audience is me and my husband. And the truth is, my poor long-suffering husband is a secondary audience, because he can take or leave the decorations. Of course, once he realized (way back when we were first dating) that when I said Christmas decorations, what I mean is “generic holiday season during the dark of the year,” he’s always been a valuable and sometimes scarily enthusiastic contributor to the decorations.

After all, he’s the one who bought all the My Little Pony ornaments, both years…

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