Decorating the Tree: REAL vs IMAGINED

Today I’m continuing with my holiday traditions blogging. That sounds awkward. What I mean to say is that December is chock full of activities and if you like traditions (and I do) you can be buried under parties, cookie exchanges, Christmas letters, and piñatas. It’s a nice kind of burying, but still.

This weekend we decorated the tree. Last year The Time of Decorating the Tree was promptly followed by The Time I Fell Down the Stairs and Broke My Foot. This year…way better experience. Kealoha picked the tree out with me and the kiddos. In my mind, there’d be carolers and everyone smiling and high-fiving, and a magical snow would be falling. Kealoha would grab me and kiss me in the snow and say “I adore you!” And I’d say, “Really?” and the kids would laugh and giggle and have rosy cheeks.

Reality isn’t as golden, but maybe it’s more interesting. Louis ran around the tree lot possessed. Kealoha chased after him. I tried to find someone to help me with getting the tree to the car. They were sort of operating in a different time speed: everyone in slow motion. No snow fell. And as I got the tree, Simone watched Louis run around the East football field and screamed over and over “LET’S PLAAAAAAY…SOCCER!” Kealoha got her to also scream “Let’s  play rubgy” and football, and tiddly winks. We didn’t declare our love for each other but I think he winked at me…or he had something in his eye.

Then I envisioned decorating the tree. There’s the kids and me and Kealoha and my mom. We’re all wearing sweaters and listening to Bing Crosby and there’s a fire crackling. Reality? We put on this cool jazzy music. Simone and Louis stuffed ornaments down my mom’s shirt so her backside was gigantic. Like, ENORMOUS. I was freaking out because I couldn’t find the bubble lights and I was certain my mom lost them last year when she packed the ornaments. Kealoha was obsessively untangling my lights and had a monologue about the importance and effectiveness of LED lights which I listened to while slowly blinking.

We didn’t drink egg nog, though I did have two glasses of wine which helped me ignore the gigantic mess and the cats and the kids fighting and my mom trying to give me a backrub. She’s like a ninja attacker with backrubs.

I breathed. I relaxed. Kealoha told me everything was going to be okay and I believed him.

Which brings me to the ornaments. I like this part of Christmas, when you pull something from the box and it triggers a memory. Stephen Paulsen has The Starship Enterprise as an ornament…and Tim Beeler has a tree of superheroes. I have a Marilyn Monroe figurine that reminds me of when I had blond hair and fancied myself a 1950s starlet. The kids have the ornaments they made of pirates and reindeers. Kealoha brought over Elvis ornaments and a spaceship. There are birds on the tree, which comforts me. And Mom found the bubble lights (she’d wrapped them to keep them safe) which made all of us happy.

This year, I’m adding two more ornaments to memory lane. One is a morel ornament which makes me think of all the times spent mushroom hunting with my family. It’s also incredibly phallic and has glitter all over it. So, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy and then slightly uncomfortable. The perfect combo for an ornament.

And there’s the sasquatch ornament I just ordered because Big Foot makes me happy.

There’s also the ornament that Kealoha grabbed from Lowes. I’d looked at it a few weeks ago and when we went back for a strand of LED lights (compromise) he snagged the ornament. What a good boyfriend. He may not say things like “I adore you!” and I’m sort of glad he doesn’t. He does say things like “I can fix your thermostat” and I find that incredibly sexy.

Where was I?

I dunno.

But I do love the holidays, especially this one. My saddest holiday was in New York. I had no money and made a tree out of a paper bag and drew ornaments on it. It was sad. But this year…this year…well…maybe it didn’t go the way I envisioned. That’s okay. Because it was more real and more fun than the way I’d pictured it. And now I have Elvis on my tree with Marilyn. That seems to fit.

Here's how I found the two ornaments tonight. I don't know what they're doing. It looks like if either of them has a drink, then things could get racy.