Christmas in Texas

It’s hard to tell how BIG a seven foot Christmas tree is when you’re standing in the great wide open with no ceiling as a reference point. Plus, even though I’m 5’7″, I think I’m 6 feet tall so what the hell. I have no sense of proportion. The guy who brought my tree to the car suggested we strap it on top. Yeah, on a cloth roof. That’s a great idea. I put the top down and it fit right in.

Seeing a chick in a convertible with a huge tree in it driving down the street seemed to amuse a few people. Which is nice. At least some of the populace can still be stimulated by the simple things in life. Once I took the net off the tree in the living room, I was a little worried about its size, but it ended up working out. That’s the great thing about having an old house with high ceilings. No problem.

I love the whole process of decorating the tree. Each ornament evokes its own memory – either of the person who gave it to me or the person I was when I bought it (I went through a sun-and-moon decorating phase about fifteen years ago, so there are a few Santas shaped like the moon or in a starburst) or where I was when I bought it. If possible, I always buy a Christmas ornament (or something that can be turned into one with the addition of a hook) when I travel. My grandparents bought ornaments for each of us grandkids every year for the first 21 years of our lives. When we each turned 21, we received a box full of ornaments. Some were obviously from the crafts fair they used to have (and may still have) on the Bellaire Blvd. esplanade. Some were from their trips to England and other points far away. None of them go together, which is the way it should be. A matchy-matchy tree is joyless, in my opinion. It should be whimsical.

I buy an ornament or three every year. Last year, I finally found a pickle. It’s an old German tradition (I think) to hide a pickle ornament in the tree and the first person to find it gets a present. That wouldn’t have worked when we were kids because we would have ended up tearing the tree up looking for the thing. We’re very competitive people. Here’s my pickle. Ahem.

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