As my hands dive into the plastic storage boxes with red and green lids, my husband surmises aloud: “We have way too many ornaments.”
“I like to rotate using different ones each year,” I reply.
Amazing what decorates our Christmas trees! Several “must hangs” I look forward to hanging include glittery sand dollar ornaments with each of our son’s names. One slowly deteriorating paper box contains family ones too fragile for display. They symbolize earlier days and are best for admiring. I usually move on to sturdier sparklies. One historical ornament, though, is my famous milkweed pod, which I lovingly lined with red felt in first grade. It’s still UNinhabited by insects! I especially enjoy finding ornaments featuring photos of my sons are little kids. Armed and ready I slink toward the couch while they’re watching TV.
If I’m nice, I wait until commercials, but I usually don’t.
“This is what you looked like when you were [and I fill in the age],” I say knowing I hold black-mail material for the future.
Next, their eyes usually trace an imaginary synchronized circumference and a smirk of acknowledgment follows.
And then, there’s BJ who is known as “the bad cat.” He came to our home as a fluke years ago during a fatherly/son night of stargazing. Despite light pollution from our city, a good time was being had outside our former home and then…this black, small, precious, adorable kitten began his circular march around my husband’s ankles. Next I hear a knock at the door and open it to find the kitten being held up at my eye-level.
“Can I bring him in?” I’m asked in a loving but pleading tone.
Now our other two cats – one for each son – are in shock with a newbie with which to contend. They are slow and settled. BJ is a bully – characterized by swiftness – out the front door when you open it – up the Christmas tree when you’re doing your best to decide which decorations to use – this year!
The whole decorating deal at my home was different this year. A serious lack of interest netted no outside lights. I was OK with that. I helped organize my neighborhood’s luminary display and I was satisfied.
Inside the house, I selected certain items and sat them in special places – the four beautiful white ceramic angels made by my mother, the motion-activated singing furry felines (see other post) and of course the handmade Christmas stockings onto which we glued and painted 10 years ago when crafting was still considered a cool family-time activity.
“Here’s what I need you to do,” I told my eldest. “Hand me the carved animals on the shelf, then place the stocking hangars and stockings there.”
He did and slyly used the holders – N-O-E-L – to say N-O-L-E – a reference to the college he will be attending in six short months.
So then, there’s BJ – in the tree. At first I panicked when I realized his planned ascent. Then I simply watched and smiled as he seemed to survey what we did decorate.
I think he approved. He looked, jumped onto our game table from the tree and resumed harassing the old cats as usual.
I smiled. Maybe next year, I’ll use my milkweed pod – provided it’s still “insect-free!”