Forrest thinks my Christmas tree is phu-phooey. I say "my" tree because we each have our own. His is decorated with shotgun shell lights and fishing pole and Moose or Deer ornaments, while mine is a Victorian style tree done in mauve and cream.
He also thinks my tree is going to fall over because I put too much stuff on it.
"Well, Forrest, I have to hang the Ballerinas and butterflies! I've always had ballerinas and butterflies on my tree!"
"What on earth to ballerinas and butterflies have to do with Christmas?" he wanted to know.
"More I think than shotgun shells and fishing poles! At least ballet dancers and butterflies are people!" I defended myself.
"Okay, but one more piece of pink and your tree will fall over."
"It's called mauve!" I made a face at him as I hung another piece of phu.
Holland, who had been hanging giant snowflakes in the doorway that separates the dining room and library, interrupted us, "Mom," she warned,” This tape isn't strong enough to hold the snowflakes."
"NO thumbtacks!" I insisted.
Holland sighed deeply then tried again to attach the heavy flake to the ceiling. I heard her whisper to the air,” I feel a sense of failure coming on..." When the snowflake fell to the floor and broke she gave up and went to Fotter's Market for therapy Ben and Jerry's Double Fudge Brownie ice cream.
We got the trees and the rest of the home decorating finished without opinions or comments, and we rather enjoyed the time together, so long as I refrained from singing along with the Christmas CDs that were playing in the background. Even Holland, having been renewed by the curative powers of Ben and Jerry, managed to get her snowflakes to stay aloft and then feeling the empowerment of success, decorated the mantle.
That was two nights ago and my tree still stands, proving what I've always thought about life: It's too short to forgo all the extra stuff, even the ballerinas and butterflies, on the off chance your tree will topple.
L.E. Hughes is a columnist, writer and owner of Diamond Corner B&B in Stratton, Maine. She welcomes your thoughts and comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© December 2005 Lew-Ellyn Hughes. All Rights Reserved and Retained by the Author.