“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.”
– Mary Ellen Chase
Friends, I know there are still several weeks before we raise a toast of kindness cheer but, I think my holiday spirit may have sprung. Here’s the story; in my attic there is a box and, inside that box is my three-sectioned, pre-lit, Christmas tree. When properly assembled it stands at six feet and has roughly 100 glowing lights. It was purchased on the theory that having a simple to install tree would make decorating easier and, in turn, more enjoyable. The thing with theories though is how fast they can be debunked. I hauled the cardboard box into the living room and cut the four straps of duct tape keeping the flaps tightly sealed. With a “whoosh” the box suddenly popped like a Pillsbury biscuit container and I took a nervous step back. My plan was to take each section and unfold it as I went along. And it was a good plan; the sections are numbered, and the branches are all on hinges so one wouldn’t have room for error. One would be wrong. First off, the tree refused to exit the box in pieces but instead, rose as one giant bush. Then, just to be difficult, all the hinges has rusted a bit. Now I don’t read books on gardening but I’m pretty sure none of them ever suggested using WD40 in order to get that full fir look but, there I was, spraying lubricant in a desperate attempt to get to the next stage in decorating which of course was the lights. They didn’t work. Why would they? I’d been down this road before and bought a set earlier in the week but, the problem here is when you have a six-foot tree and 75 feet of twinkle lights then you’re bound to have what I like to call “extra.” Once the tree was encased in cord, I used the rest on the end tables, the couch and finished up the strand outlining the bookcase. Now when it comes to ornaments my motto has always been “the more the merrier” so for the next few hours I fastened as many balls as the branches could hold without breaking. By the time I was done the sun had set and the house was dark; the perfect time to plug in the tree. Miss Maggie (the puppy) sat wagging her tail on the floor in anticipation as my hand gripped the plug and slowly inserted it into the outlet. How do I put this? While I was thrilled that everything was working properly, I hadn’t really considered what would happen once the blinking began. The flashing lights aren’t so much Santa inviting as they are seizure inducing. Instead of sitting in a warm glow of decorations it feels more like we’re at a disco. I was hoping for an old-fashioned holiday and in a sense, my wish was granted. I just didn’t think we were talking the 1970’s.
by the Gould’s own Bradley Molloy