If it were up to me my family would only celebrate Christmas about every third year. My husband however, loves Christmas. He’s the happy Christmas elf. If my children carry fond Christmas memories with them into their adult lives, it will be due to him alone. He loves Christmas music. He loves Christmas cookies. He would probably wear goofy Christmas sweaters if I didn’t make an effort to keep him from getting his hands on them. Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised yesterday when I came home from running errands and found that he’d tramped through 2.5 feet of snow, cut a tree from our yard, set it up in our living room and decked it out with lights.
I tried to look excited. After all I was pleased to have missed out on the process of choosing a tree and the dragging it in the house. But the lights he had decorated the tree with were horrible. They were about as cozy as the flashing Coors Light sign at the local liquor store. I found myself not wanting to look in the direction of the Christmas tree, which sort of defeats the purpose of a Christmas tree in the first place. I tried to stay silent and come to terms with the new LED lights, but the bluish, fluorescent look just didn’t put me in the mood to roast chestnuts, or sing Christmas carols. And when it comes to Christmas cheer I need all the help I can get.
I brought it up gently. First I said, “those lights have kind of a blue tint don’t you think?” Then a while later; “I don’t know about those LED lights. I mean they’re good for the environment and all, but they might not be as cozy as regular Christmas lights.” And finally I just said it. “I cannot be in the same room as those lights. They make me want to hurl.”
At that point I thought I should offer to take down the bad lights, so I dug out my leather gloves and started unwinding them them from the tree. Without me having to ask, my husband turned off the Christmas music and found Son Volt on the MP3 player. It may not be the background music that most people would choose for getting into the Christmas spirit, but it worked for me. I’m lucky he knows me so well.
Now the tree, bedecked with the old lights, is brightening up the house during the time of year when the hours between sunrise and sunset can be counted on one hand. I could do without the presents, the Christmas music and the office parties, but there’s something cool about having a lit-up tree in the house.