At the center of our living room is our brilliantly decorated Christmas
tree. Proudly poised in the corner of our living room this Noel-novelty
did not get that way by accident although there were many accidents
along the way. If it was up to me, I would not bother every year with
all the fuss that goes into this Christmas tree but things of this
magnitude are not left up to me.
My idea would be to elaborately decorate the Christmas tree one year and then take a photograph of it and use that photograph every other year. To me, this would be a very practical solution to the complications that . . .
At the center of our living room is our brilliantly decorated Christmas tree. Proudly poised in the corner of our living room this Noel-novelty did not get that way by accident although there were many accidents along the way. If it was up to me, I would not bother every year with all the fuss that goes into this Christmas tree but things of this magnitude are not left up to me.
My idea would be to elaborately decorate the Christmas tree one year and then take a photograph of it and use that photograph every other year. To me, this would be a very practical solution to the complications that surround decorating a Christmas tree every year, especially in our home. I would even go to the expense of having the picture blown up to life size dimensions. This proposal has many possibilities.
I remember explaining my scheme to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage one year. I was very excited about my idea and went into elaborate detail showing her the benefits of such a thing. I drew a diagram explaining how easy it would be and how much time we could save every year. "After all," I opined, "it will still be our tree."
It is a rare thing when I get such a good idea and can get excited about it. I love it when a plan comes together and I was quite sure my wife would be pleased with such creative thinking on my part.
I will not go into the details of her reaction, suffice it to say I have never mentioned the idea since that time. Whenever I am tempted to, I remember her lengthy rejoinder to it ending with her famous two words, "or else." The Christmas season is not the time to explore her "or else."
During the Yuletide season, we have two marvelous traditions in our domicile. One, nobody pays attention to my ideas, and two, we decorate our Christmas tree every year. I'm too busy with the second one to be bitter about the first one, I assure you. After all cooperation is the name of the game this time of year. (She tells me what to do and I do it.) This kind of teamwork gets our tree decorated every year and on time.
One improvement that has developed through the years is a graduation from a real tree to an artificial one. I will only whisper my gratitude to you, but this is a great relief for Yours Truly. Spending an entire day selecting the right Christmas tree for our living room is not how I enjoy a day on the town. I cannot tell you how embarrassing it is to return a tree because it is not the "right one."
Throughout the years I have discovered how NOT to decorate the Christmas tree, at least the one in our home.
At the top of the list is the subject of timing. When my wife says to me in that cooing voice of hers, "I think we should set up our Christmas tree today," I have learned not to say, "I think we can wait another week."
Usually, we are sitting in the living room recovering from the Thanksgiving dinner the day before and I have absolutely nothing on my mind, simply reveling in the quietness. Everything is further from my mind especially setting up and decorating the Christmas tree.
When your Better Half says it is "the time," go with it. You can either spend your time setting up and decorating the Christmas tree or you can spend that time listening to reasons why it is time to do it. In order to cut the time in half simply set up the Christmas tree and decorate it.
The second thing on my list has to do with how to go about decorating the tree. My wife's memory of how we decorated the tree last year is impeccable, even when she is wrong. I learned this the second year of our marriage. All I said was, "I don't think we did it that way last year." To this day, she reminds me that I made her break her favorite Christmas ornament...over my head. Every marriage has sacrifices.
I have learned, either I can do it her way or I can get into trouble. Believe me trouble is highly over rated.
One more thing I might mention. Never playfully throw artificial angel’s hair on your Beloved when she is busily engaged in directing the tree decorating operations. Yes, it is funny. And yes, it is tempting when you are on the ladder several feet above her. The downside to this frivolity is that it is almost impossible to retain your balance on a vigorously shaking ladder and falling on her is not a good option.
The primary objective of putting up a Christmas tree is not to see who is right or wrong, but putting up the Christmas tree.
Christmas is a time to enjoy all the blessings that have accrued during the year. There is enough contention and cynicism in the world and I do not need to add to it. I think the Christmas angel was right. "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." (Luke 2:10 KJV).
In a world with few “good tidings,” this one deserves sincere consideration.
Copyright, Rev. James L. Snyder
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