I just finished turning the lights on my Christmas trees on.
I have 2 trees this year -- a fiber-optic tree with lights and ornaments and a ceramic tree. I'd bought the ceramic one last year in an after-Christmas clearance sale and this is the first time it's being used. I'd gotten it because when I was growing up we used to have one. I remember loving to put in all the little plastic "lights" in the holes of the tree and re-arranging them every so often to change the pattern of the colors. Putting this one together brought me back to that feeling and I find just looking at the ceramic tree comforting -- kind of like it's a time machine, bringing me back to when Christmas was something one looked forward to all year long.
I've had the fiber-optic tree for a few years now. Years ago I used to buy a real tree, but that's a hazard with kitties running around. With this one, the worst they can do is unplug the lights or make a few ornaments fall off, not potentially cause a fire. It has a fun, funky feel to it too, one that reminds me of the silver tinsel fake tree my parents used for years. That tree is probably still up in the attic somewhere, or maybe the basement -- my parents stopped using it after they got a different fake tree with "needles" like a bottle brush. I used the bottle-brush tree for a few years, since it's pretty big, but it's a pain to move around since it's all one piece -- it can never be disassembled and then re-assembled, like modern artificial trees can be. Moving it to and from the attic got to be too much of a pain -- literally! But sentimental pack-rat that I am, I can't quite bring myself to toss it. Not this year at any rate.
The silver tinsel tree would probably look laughable now compared to modern "white" artificial trees. Its "needles" never stuck out -- they just kind of hung rather limply. And it was scrawny by today's standards -- kind of like the tree in "A Charlie Brown Christmas", only larger. But it looked beautiful with the colored lights in it, since the tinsel reflected the colors wonderfully well. We usually had pink and aqua lights on it, from what I remember.
The lights I put on the fiber optic tree are also aqua and I put on garland I'd bought made of aqua and pink hearts, with silver and gold glass balls as well as two types of iridescent glass balls -- white and clear. The clear ones look like the tree has been attacked by a bubble-blowing machine, especially since there are clear balls on the ends of some of the branches with fiber-optic strands within that are a permanent part of the tree itself. The ball ornaments reflect the colored lights beautifully, especially when the colors are changing.
I topped the tree with a glass spike ornament -- that's what we always used in my family. Some families use angels, some stars -- we had The Spike. With an angel just below. Always. But rebel that I am, this year there is no angel -- but there are PEACOCKS. Little clip-on peacocks with feather tails that I bought a few weeks ago at Target -- because I have to be different. ;)
Here's the translation of the cartoon for those that need it, BTW:
Doctor: "Same problem as last year, Mr. Starr?"
Mr. Starr: "Yes. Prickly pain in the backside. Oww. Oww."