Tinsel Hides Lots of Flaws
While I never once had a National Lampoon-worthy holiday growing up, there was an irrationally high importance placed upon Christmas Tree perfection.
The mighty pine – artificial, of course – needed to be set up perfectly straight. Its bendy limbs required lots of twisting and posing to recover from eleven months in a cardboard box.
The lights always had to go on first, and loop in and out around each branch, beginning at the top of the tree (with the end light stuffed up the poor angel’s skirt), and chained together with subsequent light strands whose plugs were hidden carefully by pointy faux-pine, twisted around the center post. All 16 strands, on a 6-foot tree.
While the exact placement of the light strands was critical, far worse was the torment of unravelling them from the previous year’s hasty storage. Never mind checking for burned out bulbs. More than one year my stepfather abandoned me to mom’s wrath, for the VFW, to drown his light-induced anxiety with the contents of a cold mug.
Perhaps the biggest holiday lesson should have been the pointlessness of it all. Because after those lights were tested and tweaked and tucked, and the ornaments placed (and later exchanged by Mom to achieve perfect balance), we covered the whole damn thing with a couple hundred feet of silver garland…
…and then topped it off with enough icicle tinsel to keep us cleaning up holiday detritus until Easter.
So my wish for you this season is to enjoy the big stuff, remember that tinsel hides lots of flaws, and keep sight of what’s really important in your life. Hold your loved ones close and relish every moment.
Until they drive you batshit crazy.
And then there’s booze.
With love, Demi