There are two types of people in this world. One type prefers dogs to cats, New York to Chicago style pizza, Facebook to Twitter, and real Christmas trees to artificial. I call them rational human beings. Those that fall into the second group I don’t call at all. My mother falls into the second group.
Throughout my childhood she tortured me with an artificial tree decorated with such precision you would think it had been done by either a robot or a gay man born under the sign of Capricorn. My mother was a Tannenbaum Tyrant. Our fake Fir could only contain ornaments of three styles and one color, most often either gold or blue. No homemade paper plate snowmen or sentimental “Donna’s First Christmas” crap was permitted. The distance between each ornament was measured with a yard stick to ensure absolute symmetry. And , when complete the entire masterpiece was draped in angel hair, which in layman’s terms is spun fiberglass. It looked like a giant spider had cocooned our poor pine. The angel hair was intended to deter little hands from moving any of the perfectly-placed orbs or climbing beneath to shake presents. It did not. I itched every year until June from the contact I had with what was basically fancy insulation. I was determined I would not grow up to be a Holiday Hitler.
So, I always get a real tree. My ornament collection encompasses every color in the rainbow and is massive with decorations ranging from a martini-swilling mermaid to a blown-glass hummingbird to a miniature tin tackle box to a perverted Santa getting a blowjob from a sexy elf. On Sunday, I drug out all the tinsel and such and we commenced to trim the tree. I made Frank responsible for lights. I went to refill my eggnog and when I came back he was starting to string a strand of green among the clear.
“No, only white lights! Only white!”
Tragedy averted. Next, he attempted to drape the silver beads.
“What are you doing? Before you add those you have to hang all of the silver icicles near the trunk to reflect the light out. It’s common sense.”
Another close call. Then, he tried to hang his BMX bike ornament.
“No. The ice-skating penguin goes first. You always put the penguin on first. Why are you ruining Christmas?”
Being a Tannenbaum Tyrant must be genetic.
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