Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

It is now the time of year during which most of my daily strolls with Rosie happen after dark. I am most definitely not a morning person, but even if I were, it would still be dark. Winter'll do that to you.

So, during the past couple of weeks, I've enjoyed seeing the different holiday decorations go up around the neighborhood. Thankfully there are fewer and fewer of those giant inflatable snowmen and huge snow-filled globes being kept erect by the efforts of industrial fans roaring into the "silent" night. I did see one such behemoth for which the engine had been tucked into the owner's garage. I applaud such thoughtfulness. The muffled noise didn't even make the dog's ears perk up.

I am a bit jealous of those people who have well-placed front windows to display their Christmas trees. We ourselves have quite a lovely, tall tree this year, but our only logical space is in the back of the house. I do hope the neighbors behind us can enjoy it, but since their shed is in the way, and they only use their backyard about 4 times a year, probably not.

Is it just me, or are there more, um, "active" light displays these days? I remember as a child, I always thought blinking lights were cool. They added animation, and I suppose a sort of hearkening back to a day I never knew, when real candles flickered on trees. Plus, growing up, it seemed we never had enough working ones to use on the tree. Not having something that "everyone else" does always adds allure for deprived young folks.

Tonight, though, I stopped to look at a big, full (probably artificial) tree prominently displayed in a large front window. It had multicolored and white lights, both of which had their own blinking programs. But this went beyond evoking quiet candlelight. These lights practically zoomed around the tree, changing up the pattern every few seconds, so as to prevent boredom, I guess. But, I thought, that's not what I want from a Christmas tree. I want peace, and quiet reflection. Not a Disneyesque laser light show.

I wonder if there are children in that household, and if so, whether they ever spend time lying on the floor, just looking at the tree. Lying still. Just looking. Maybe even...pondering. Wondering where Santa is right at that moment; what he's doing. Or, older, thinking about how good it feels to know there's a pile of presents with your name on them. How cozy it is to have the family all home, warm inside the house regardless of the weather outside. How great it is to have absolutely nothing else to do but lie on the floor, smelling pine and thinking of happy things. And to not have school tomorrow!

I just don't think I could do all that pondering, with a disco ball of a tree overhead. But perhaps, for a generation weaned on MTV and Playstation, it's hardly noticeable.

No, not the lights; I mean the tree! The tree is probably hardly noticeable. I mean, how can you win your Pokemon if you lift your eyes from the screen of your PSP? *pshhh* Like, whatev.

Well, whatever is right. I will continue to enjoy lying on the floor with the dog, poking through the presents when nobody's looking--never mind the fact that I wrapped most of them myself--and thinking about how nice it will be when Christmas morning arrives, with its excitement and food and togetherness. To each her own, but now that I've gotten past the childish thrill of presents, I'm learning to enjoy Christmas in a an entirely new way.

Of course, the presents don't hurt.


  1. Gosh I hate those blow up things too. So annoying. We had a yard here in our neighborhood with a "collection" of them. Last year I think they had 7!!

  2. Yeah, what's up with that? There is a yard in my neighborhood that backs up to a busy main road and they do all their decorating in the back. The first time I saw all the deflated "decorations" limp and laying on the ground, I thought they were having a yard sale. It was a monstrosity of tangled up junk on the lawn, so imagine my surprise when it got TACKIER in all it's lighted blown-up glory. Ugh. Hideous. Makes me laugh and shake my head every time I drive by.

  3. Rosie goes on high alert when she sees a crumpled one lying on someone's lawn. She must imagine it's a melted cow or something!


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