People read my work and often assume I had some miserable childhood. That’s not the case. My childhood was more or less pretty good. Christmas was always a high point. I loved (and still do) everything about it.
The gifts, the decorations, the music, the noise, the wrapping paper, decorating the tree and seeing it lit up in a dark room. Part of me even liked getting dragged to midnight mass…it was a ritual of bleary eyed confusion, as I was woken up from a dead sleep I was forced to begin early so I’d be awake to go…this is the warped logic only parents have- put the kid to bed early so he’ll be awake later…as if he’d have any trouble staying awake all night long with the knowledge that there would be presents under the tree in the morning.
Rather than just have the kid stay up until midnight, they choose two fights, one trying to get him to go to bed early, the other trying to get him to go back to bed after mass. It would have been more logical to just dare the kid to stay awake the entire time…he’d be bound to fall asleep sometime in the middle of mass and you could just drag him home and plop him into bed…and probably have him sleep until a reasonable hour, as opposed to the 6am or so I’d spring up to loot the presents.
Like most kids, and adults, midnight mass was a necessary chore of sitting sweating in winter clothes in a church so packed with people you can barely breath while some guy in a rob bitches that the church is only this full at Christmas…hey, maybe get some fans going and stop reading from that book like it’s stereo instructions. Maybe that might help? Hmmm? Maybe? They did have a sense of showmanship. The church was dimly lit and the tree lights were off until Midnight, then the 12 trees sprung to life with thousands of lights as the choir sang. I did like the choir, I liked “Emanuel” the best…it was majestic without being too heavy. They never sing it anymore, or play it on the radio. It’s just the pattern of my life I suppose, that the things I like get discarded ( I.E. Deadwood) Anyway I think It’s all fantastic.
I love Christmas…I seems to hate my ass though. Since adulthood, I can recall about a handful of them that weren’t an emotional kick in the nuts.
But you gotta have hope, right?
To that end I have, over the years, acquired a collection of Christmas ornaments that has no equal. One day, I’ll put them and the tree up and have a Christmas that rivals the one when I got the Lego Space set, complete with ground that had grey craters…grey craters that were often used later as terrain that was bombed out in some epic battle.
Let’s start with the tree. It’s vintage. Yards of like 5 gauge plastic coated wires twisted into makeshift branches.
You’ll have to take my word for it, that looks like a tree when you put it altogether. Sort of…in the abstract.
These babies are my crown jewels. Ornaments with trees inside them! I don’t know how old they are but they are so old the plastic has yellowed. I bet they looked amazing before that. Maybe some of that polish you can get to “revitalize” your headlights might perk them up?
I have one full set of these…the camera doesn’t do them justice.
I used to have a full set of these, but…they are brittle and attrition has taken it’s toll. I lost one more this year unwrapping them to take inventory.
THIS, is the one that got away. At an estate sale there was a full set of them, some birds, and some red monkeys. They were beautiful, but I only had some pocket change with me, and could only get this one. By the time I went to get cash and came back…the rest were gone. I’ve been searching ebay, rummage sales, ect ever since but haven’t ever seen them again.
Then I have assorted other single ornaments. I’ve picked up at rummage sales just based on their charm. I’m a real snob about ornaments…I couldn’t tell you what makes one qualify to come home with me, I just know when I see it if it’s good enough.
Lot’s of these are faded and chunks of paint have fallen off, or they’ve developed weird spots in the metallic paint. I don’t hold that against them.
I don’t only get old ones. Once in a while I see something new that’s perfect.
I got a set of these as a gift. (Don’t ever buy me ornaments, the odds are NOT in your favor that I will like it, and as opposed to other gifts, I don’t think it’s the thought that counts. I will discard it right in front of you. Christmas ornaments on MY tree are serious business)
This next one…I dunno…even though it’s cheap and a advertisement, I just think it’s perfect for the tree.
I have a bunch of these old car ornaments. These are my favorite. The ink on the hood is because I was using it for reference when drawing an old car and somehow it got ink on it. I should clean that off. The tree in the bed of the El Camino has turned brown…if that don’t sum up my Christmas’s I don’t know what does.
And you have to have a bell on your tree. “every time a bell rings, and angel gets his wings”. I have taken the liberty of hot gluing the bell into place so it never rings, because…hey, what have they ever done for me since age ten?! F ’em.
I have about 50 of these guys. They take the place of tinsel and they glow in the dark!
It’s gonna be a grand tree one of these days, right? …I said …Right?
Yeah whatever, I’m gonna go microwave some leftover pizza and watch Deadwood.
But hey, thanks for listening.