I was born. I suffered.
I suffered some more, and hopefully,
I won't die a painful death.
This is my life.

The Old Woman and the Christmas tree

The Old Woman loved Christmas. Every year, the day after Thanksgiving was xmas decorating day. She had her own Christmas store upstairs in the closet, affectionately known as The Camping Room. She had lights, center pieces, candles, garland, bows, light-up ceramic houses, bulbs, floo-flounders and tong-tinklers. The Old Woman had everything in plastic bags. She hauled them downstairs and the xmas magic commenced. In the early years, The Old Woman used the "normal-type" decorations. Meaning, silver tinsel and glass bulbs. Actual colored lights adorned the tree. I'll qualify this statement by giving a run down of The Old Woman's eclectic decorating style later. She would get this glossy crazed look in her eyes when she was in the middle of her frenzied decking of the halls. For many years we had a real Christmas tree. Those were the good years, and we used the normal tree trimmings. Probably in the late 70s or so, The Old Woman bought a fancy fake xmas tree, and that's when the craziness started.

The first middle finger to the norm was the getting rid of colored lights on the tree. Apparently, at the flower shop, Mr. John's, ugh, where The Old Woman purchased all of her xmas decorations, white lights were all the rage. Where they were the rage I have no idea. Anywho, white lights are still used on the tree to this day.

WTF!
Plastic Apples! Eric, did you just say apples? Damn fucking straight. I can't even imagine what the moron was thinking when he came up with this idea. Plastic apples to hang on Christmas tree? Really? But I hope he is paying for it now. These red apples, probably modeled after Red Delicious, were the bane of our holiday season. We begged The Old Woman to let us put our old classic glass bulbs on the tree. She would have none of it.

The Bows. Yes folks, bows! These bows were hand made by friggin Mr. John himself for The Old Lady. They were mainly red or burgundy and had wire tie-wraps on them to hold them to the tree branches. I hated the bows. And guess what? We had no star on the top of the tree. We had a giant bow. It was hideous. Every year, The Old Woman bagged up her bows and had the flower shop straighten and iron them to get ready for the season. The Old Woman would usually decorate the tree and decide that she didn't like the way it looked and she would tear off all the bows, apples, and white lights. This was a painful exercise in futility, because to the rest of us, it always looked the same.

Baby's Breath: Hurl
Baby's Breath. Ok I don't really know how to describe this horrible little dried flower called Baby's Breath or why someone would ever put it on a Christmas tree. All I know is that it actually smelled like a baby's breath, after he spit-up.

The Old Woman also had the rest of the house decorated to the hilt. Lighted ceramic villages lined the coffee tables and the top of the TV. She put fake snow on them and lit them at night. Every other inch of the house had various red and green center pieces.

I was always in charge of decorating the outside of the estate. We had a multitude of nasty bushes and trees that I would slather with COLORED lights. Ha. The Old Woman didn't really care about how the outside was decorated.

At least in the past, The Old Woman followed the normal ebb and flow of the holidays. For example, she would wait until after Thanksgiving to put up the xmas tree. Lately, as in the past ten years or so, she has begun putting up the tree around Halloween. You should see the confused look on the trick or treater's faces when they come to the door. The Old Woman's behavior is hovering to the depths of dressing up your fourteen cats in skirts and lederhosen and then sharing their food with them.

But, I guess the having the xmas tree up practically all year around gives her some weird sort of happiness. I think that The Old Woman relives the old days of when the house was filled with kids and grandkids. Having the Christmas tree up takes her back a little.

So there you have it. Please people, for shit sakes, use tinsel and garland and glass bulbs on your trees. Apples are meant to be eaten and not hanging off a plastic tree branch.

If I can find a picture of any variation of The Old Woman's Christmas tree, I'll add it to this post.