The Real Meaning of Christmas – Part 2: Decorations

Christmast tree ornaments

Last week I wrote about one aspect of the real meaning of the holiday season – the important annual tradition of sending out hundreds of unsigned holiday greeting cards with photos of your kids to hundreds of people you don’t really care if you ever see again along with a four-page newsletter detailing how your past year was far superior to the recipient’s.

This week’s heartfelt post is about another integral part of a truly spiritually fulfilling holiday season: Holiday decorations. This is the fun part of the holidays – starting with your annual climb into the creepy dust-covered cave known as your attic, in search of those Christmas or (insert your preferred alternative holiday here __________________) ornaments.

This will surely bring a smile to your children’s faces as you unpack a treasure trove of decorations collected over the years, like the mechanical dancing Santa that shouts out a jolly “Ho Ho Ho” when you press his tummy. Trust me, this decoration is every bit as tasteful and appreciated now as it was when you bought it as the “special” Christmas present for your wife in 1978.

Christmas tree lot

The first step in turning your house into a festival of holiday cheer is to install a dangerous fire hazard in your family room, also known as the Christmas tree. It’s a ten-step process, so take notes:

Step 1: Drive around to five different Christmas tree lots to find just the perfect tree.

Step 2: Find the perfect tree for your family and negotiate your best offer. If the tree has a sticker price of say $85, start with an offer of $45. When the guy comes back with a price of $85, counter with another offer, this time, say $55. Continue haggling until you settle on a price of $85.

Step 3: Begin to strap the tree to the roof of your car.

Step 4: Realize that you forgot the blanket to protect the roof of your car. Drive home to get blanket.

Step 5: Strap the tree onto the roof of your car, which is now protected by said blanket.

Step 6: Drive home with your tree. For extra fun, sing Christmas carols like “Oh Christmas Tree” to heighten the festive spirit.

christmas tree on car

Step 7: Notice that the blanket that had been gently flapping against your window is no longer gently flapping against your window. Shout the curse word of your choice. Apologize to Megan, your youngest child, in the back seat and proceed to Step 8.

Step 8: Turn around and search for the tree that fell off your car a few minutes ago.

Step 9: Watch in mild horror as a large truck drives over your tree in the oncoming lane and snaps the tree trunk in two. Repeat curse word you selected in Step 7 above. Apologize to Megan again.

Step 10: Repeat steps 1 through 6 – this time, without all the Christmas caroling – or the blanket.

Once you’ve gotten the tree home in close to one piece, the fun really takes off. Invite your kids to put all of their favorite ornaments on the tree – which of course means that the bottom three feet will have 248 ornaments and the top two feet will have five. Be sure to help Megan top off the tree with her favorite star decoration that she made in Kindergarten – the one that looks like a diseased 11-legged octopus but she insists is a star. It is at approximately this point in time that you realize that you forgot to put the lights on the tree first.

Pretend to laugh with the kids at Daddy’s/Mommy’s silly mistake and proceed to begin the joyous task of taking all the ornaments off the tree, putting on the lights, and doing the decorations all over again. Only this time, the kids have long since completely lost interest and moved on to playing on Play Station 3. Finish putting all the decorations on the tree by yourself. Plug in the lights. Discover that none of the lights that were working 25 minutes ago now work and that you’ll need to replace all of them. Begin the joyous process of removing all the ornaments from the tree once again…

If you are really feeling adventurous, and are insistent that the kids get off the X-Box and join in the FAMILY FUN (“We WILL have fun, damn it!”), get out the tinsel and let the kids put it on as they choose.  (Remember, letting them have a say here will empower them and save you lots of expensive counseling bills years later.)

Christmas lights2

The outdoor lights and lawn decorations are even more important than what goes inside your house. Let your neighbors know that when it comes to remembering your Lord Jesus or (insert the alternate savior of your choice here ________________________) that you will not be outdone by the Terwilligers’ elaborate 8’ plastic Frosty the Snowman snow globe arrangement (that snow globe is so 2008, anyway). No, not this year. This is YOUR year – the year it’s your house that everyone else in the neighborhood sneers at in quiet jealousy. You’re all set to unveil your incredible “Santa and his sleigh, landing on the rooftop of the Nativity Manger” lawn display. You top it off with Yukon Cornelius and the Three Wise Men (who look suspiciously like Groucho, Chico and Harpo for some reason), honoring the baby Jesus, with the supporting cast from the Island of Misfit Toys from that 1960’s animated Christmas special, all to the tune of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”. Very tastefully done. 

And don’t forget the most important part of all – the dazzling twinkle lights. Don’t let the Terwilligers’ super techno blinking LED light display (timed to the music of Mannheim Steamroller) intimidate you. You can outdo them. This is the year to coat your house, roof, fence, trees, shrubbery, garden gnomes and youngest child with 20,000 lights that shout out to the world “This is what Christmas is all about. God bless everyone! And take that, Terwilliger family!”

Of course, if this all sounds like a little too much work, there is always Plan B: flying to a Mexican Cancun resort for sunny, warm Christmas instead. You can always do the Christmas lights next year. Feliz Navidad.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011

Like my stuff? Sign up with your email address to receive my weekly humor posts straight to your email inbox!


Tags: , , , ,

  • Published On Nov. 28, 2009 by TEJ

    1. 11/28/09

      Hi. I am a long time reader. I wanted to say that I like your blog and the layout.

      Peter Quinn

    2. John Pickett


      Clearly you are doing things all wrong. First, you don’t give the kids the PS3 or Xbox until Christmas morning. Unless of course you’re giving them a Wii instead. Be prepared for many years of expensive ADD drug therapy because your kids will no longer be able to focus on anything for more than five seconds – except blasting the head off some Soviet Nazi Islamists. All in the true spirit of Christmas.

      When i was a kid, my family always celebrated Xmas morning the right way — with the incredible vibrating football game with the little white felt football, players that moved in an insanely random pattern, and a field goal kicker who broke after his second attempt. When that game broke (always within four hours of plugging it in), we switched to the table top hockey game, the one with the players on rods that stuck out of either end of the “ice”. Being a house with five boys the game was never quite violent enough so we eventually upgraded to the version with a big ball bearing in the center of the puck. Then we sprayed the entire playing surface with silicone lubricant allowing the puck to zing around at blinding speed. I mean this literally because once the puck left the playing surface it would inevitably fly into someone’s eye, which was when we availed ourself of our convenient ophthalmologist father. (And you thought I was making this up?)

      Now that I am all grown up, I have Christmas figured out. I write the obnoxious, over-long Xmas letter on Thanksgiving and let my wife take over the rest. Oh, I forgot, I get to buy the tree, which leads me to my next observation. Despite your proximity to the Microsoft mother ship, you are living in a low tech neck of the woods Xmas-tree wise. Around here they put your tree through a machine that wraps it in a net. After this procedure it looks like a green missile, perfect for launching from the roof of the family sedan at the first stop light.

      Finally, I must related this year’s true Christmas light story. My wife ran out to WalMart to buy four packages of really cool LED Christmas lights on sale. She was going to string them up on the yew bushes in front of our house. When she arrived home she realized that I had cut down the yew bushes. Last March. Want some lights?

    3. Jeanne Whalen

      I just can’t stop laughing at your blogs …..

    4. Frank Snyder

      Uuhhhhh…Tim…did you live at my house? Were you like “really quiet” or something growing up? Your descriptions so closely resemble my family’s Christmas, (Hey…We put the “Fun” in “Dysfunctional”!), that it’s hard to believe you weren’t there…or stole my Dad’s 8mm home movies if nothing else…
      This is a little spooky, I’m keeping an eye on you from now on….

    Add A Comment