There are several types of people when it comes to the festive season and on the first week of December it’s pretty visually obvious who fits into which category. I’m sure you can guess which one I do (freak!).
There are your “Perfect Christmas” types who have the most amazing looking Christmas trees, symmetrical with colour coded baubles and fat plump tinsel to match the rest of the silver and electric blue decorations from David Jones strategically placed around the house. Underneath their perfect tree are mountains of perfectly wrapped presents, with perfect fat bows, all colour coded with the same silver and electric blue ribbon, all so lovely and matchy matchy… It’s straight out of a Beautiful Homes Magazine (and I am secretly super jealous of these types of course).
There are your “Grinch Christmas” types, you know the ones who mope around the minute they see Christmas displays and decorations being sold in the shops (OK so when it’s October, well, that’s fair enough). They are the ones who sneer at the reindeer ears on the side mirrors of cars and the ones who do not, under any circumstances, write or wish to receive Christmas cards. To them, Christmas is a waste of money, time and effort. They don’t want to know about it and they certainly don’t want me to decorate their computer monitor and desk with tinsel while they are on their lunch break (he he he).
There are those “Tolerate Christmas” types who especially like receiving presents and eating all the yummy food but don’t have the time to truly get into it, until… “crap… it’s Christmas Eve I suppose I better nip out and get some vouchers and buy some potent eggnog…”
And then of course, there is me… (and many of our followers I am sure) the “I freaking LOVE Christmas” type! I’m what I like to call an “eclectically spoilt Christmas lover and decorator”. I LOVE Christmas and absolutely everything to do with it!
I’ve got bits and pieces of everything! Everywhere! that don’t match and don’t make sense and really don’t look all that fantastic but I love them and I have to have it that way! I put up my little lights and ornaments around the house with no real plan or order, a Santa I got from my Nanna sits crookedly on the study window, the same bit of tinsel I’ve probably had for a decade half heartedly drapes around the letter box and strings of tinsel are chucked about sporadically here there and everywhere (even in the toilet…nowhere is safe!) for an added bit of sparkle.
When it comes to THE tree, I have to admit my inner “Christmas princess attitude” kicks in…on the first Sunday of December I HAVE TO get my tree from a Christmas Tree farm (usually somewhere in either Somerville, Baxter or Moorooduc) No-one else can choose the tree, not my kids, not my husband, no-one, it’s my thing. “Mum look at this one” (ugly, too skinny, wrong size) “That’s a lovely tree darling, what a great suggestion, but, umm mums just going to keep looking over here” Hubby has learnt there’s just no point in even attempting to show me any because he knows it won’t be the right one.
One Christmas, when I was pregnant with Penny, I sent him out to choose one. Oh my….I tried to like it, I tried to tell myself it didn’t matter if there was a hole at the back and it leaned a little to the left, but it did… I couldn’t stop thinking about it. For two days the tree sat there without a single decoration, all by itself, in the tree stand, out on the back deck. I tossed and turned at night and dreamt about it. It was just. so. wrong. I. could. not. deal. We had to get a new one or I was going to cry on Christmas Day (I actually did cry about something else but we will blame the pregnancy hormones).
Mum, bless her, ended up taking the skinny dud (the tree, not the hubby) home to her place whilst I, 8.5 months pregnant got my way and chose another tree, THE most beautifully shaped perfect tree in all of the land!
This year it took only 15 minutes for us to find my December evergreen. The kids wandered around the Christmas tree farm not knowing what the bloody hell we were doing in a man made forest and kept tripping over all the remaining tree stumps but I was a Christmas Mama on a mission! Surprisingly Bella, 5, chose the tree this year, and I was actually happy to go with the one she picked (that almost NEVER happens!).
We (Ok, he…) hauled it onto the back of the trailer and we headed home, wearing my Santa hat and beaming from ear to ear.
My Christmas tree decorating ritual then consists of a baileys on ice, Michael Buble’s Christmas CD, a reindeer apron, bauble earrings and Santa knickers (I have clothes on over them!). This year the kids were a little older so I actually let them participate and didn’t redo it once they had gone to bed.
Despite my need for THE perfect shaped tree, my eclectic Christmas tree decorations are not-so-perfect. But, for me, they are a reminder of what Christmas is all about. They’ve been collected for years, some have been gifts, some homemade by me as a kid and some handed down to by family members. They remind me of good times, good people, and the Christmases passed.
I look at each of them as I put them on the tree (quickly snatching the breakable ones off the kids as they attempt to overcrowd all the branches on the lower right side making me feel a little anxious knowing I’ll just have to redo the whole thing again when they go to bed) and remember something or someone associated with them.
Sure, the finished tree looks like it would weigh more than my car, nothing matches, there’s heaps of homemade bauble shaped things and cardboard coloured in decorations, everything is lop-sided, the tinsel has broken into about five pieces, the star at the top is leaning, but it’s beautifully perfect. To us. It’s eclectic, it’s fun, it’s mish-mashed, it’s alive and it’s full of love, it’s just like Christmas should be.