Sunday, November 14, 2010

This is the year, I think.


I haven't put up the Christmas tree for definitely 10 years, yes, not for this millenium.
Not for not wanting to but with Ma and the Christmas lights and that razamatazz which was enough to turn Santa off the silly season.

So this year was my year of the pretty. My year to haul out the 35 year old veteran tinsel twigs which somewhere along the way I had re-tinselled. The bottom stand had broken so I stood the main centre piece in a giant pot and poured in enough cement for the next freeway. I love this little tree, so easy to put away, fold up the twiggy branches and whack a plastic bag over the lot.

But it's so hard to put it up. So hard to get out the ornaments. So hard to push away the memories which are also lying under cold concrete in a cemetary not so very far away. No angel for the treetop, always a little Father Christmas. The Christmas mice and the gold sprayed pine cones, to be made into the tallest pyramid possible in a wicker basket for the floor. Every year we waited for the first cat to launch the top mouse into outer space.

I was intending to dust and vac everything before I put it up but I know if I wait, it's never going to happen. At least it's out of the cupboard and standing where it should be and giving me a heart attack in the dead of night when it looked ghostly in the wrapping.

I do know what ornaments I have. Instead of putting them on the tree, I'd just open the pine chest and look in the boxes. Oh, shiny, pretty, and some never been fixed to a tree, virgin ornaments, how appropriate. My mother-in-law's deluxe Father Christmas, it had to be mine as she didn't want the 'other' to have it. The baby bears haven't been out of the tissue lined drawer for almost as long as the tree has been hidden. Really small bears and all of them with a Christmas jumper I'd knitted, more important than housework.

Now, deep breath or maybe two, and go for it. Put it up and pin a memory to each branch. Enjoy it for the month it used to be the centre of. Maybe I'll knock a bauble or two to the carpet just for old times sake.

13 comments:

Andrew said...

Do it. You'll enjoy it.

River said...

I'm in two minds about putting up my tree. First because there really isn't a suitable space where I won't trip over it, second because the damn thing is taped into its box and wedged way up in the top corner of the wardrobe, ditto ornaments. I still have a couple of weeks to decide because I'm not allowed to put it up until after my daughter's birthday anyway.

R.H. said...

For the first time I'm conscious of what brings me here: your delight in all things beautiful.

Kath Lockett said...

RH is right - I love your 'eye' for beauty but I don't love our Christmas tree.

To me it takes up space, is a struggle to set up and, like flower arranging, I don't have the skills to make it look tasteful. Instead it looks as though the tinsel fairy has vomited all over it, with the Gastro Gnome having an episode soon after....

Ann O'Dyne said...

so true that the accumulated tree ornaments of decades past, and the scent of pine needles are more evocative than Proust's madeleines.

My interest in Christmas departed when my family did. Oh the money I've saved! Mostly I ignore any personal physical involvement.
The usual pact made only yesterday with friend, that we will not exchange gifts.
My other BFriend goes to HK every year simply to avoid Christmas here.

That kitty-cat is gonna go up your tree's branches for sure, so be ready for that.

JahTeh said...

I know you're right Andrew and the ornaments I have are really beautiful so it's about time they had some glory days.

River, it depends on how big the tree is. Mine is only about 3 feet high and because the branches can be moved I can make it flat on one side so it sits against the wall.

And you would be one of those, Robbert and there is your Christmas present.

Kath, the idea is to train Sapphire as your interior decorator and dump all tatty ornaments into an obsolete box. My mother in law never took the baubles off the tree, just wrapped the lot and put it in the garage.

Annie O, the cat is so rotund it couldn't get an inch off the ground and the tree is on top of a small cupboard facing the front door. Visitors are so stunned by the tree they don't notice the rest of the grunge beyond.
Perfect Christmas gift, a ticket to Gold Class and a food voucher. It lasts for a year. I'm giving it to myself.

Jayne said...

Good on you, J.
Fling the tinsel about with gay abandon and throw down a Bombay Gin to christen each decoration.

R.H. said...

This is someone who knits little jumpers for little bears, has rolls of lace stored away, is fascinated by gemstones, couldn't afford an ornament at the $2 shop, calls herself the fat lady, admires vintage couture, and recognises RH as a genius.

This is an aesthete.

JahTeh said...

Jayne, I don't think Bombay comes in 44 gallon drums. You have no idea how many baubles I have stashed.

Why, Robbert, you have put me to the blush.

Helen said...

Hope your tree brings back more happiness than sadness, Witchy.

JahTeh said...

Helen, I'm doing it in stages, the tree is up and I'm getting used to it. Next is to open the huge pine chest that holds the goodies.

Middle Child said...

I feel like crying - its been much longer for you a - my Christmas tree hasn't been up since the Christmas after Don died - now he is not here the Christmases have shifted to elsewhere -
but this year I might just put it up for no reason other than I feel like it - might make me cry has been the reason I haven't done it. But if you can maybe i can

Helen said...

"My other BFriend goes to HK every year simply to avoid Christmas here"

WHAT. A. RIPPER. IDEA.

OK, once the olds have passed on, I'm so there.

Although my finances will probably mean a caravan park in Bemm river instead of HK. But then I can take the dogs.