As the Christmas spirit settles over Mr. Broer’s newspaper class, our faithful writers and editors are busy at work producing festive articles for the reader’s pleasure. Ranging from grumpy articles about Secret Santa gift exchanges to where Christmas trees come from, these articles are sure to please, entertain, and maybe even generate a discreet chuckle. Hopping on the bandwagon, it is time for my contribution.
This christmas season, I have been introduced to a new concept– adult trees. Families have two Christmas trees. One, the patchy, ugly tree that holds the charming yet perhaps a tad bit tacky homemade ornaments. Those beaded wreaths, candy cane figures, bell-bodied angels and hand-sewn Santas are banished to the ‘ugly’ tree, placed discreetly in the playroom or upstairs hallway were none can admire its homemade glory.
Downstairs, positioned casually in front of the biggest street-facing window, stands the grown up tree. This beautiful 8 foot tall tree hosts all the Hallmark ornaments. It hosts the ornaments exchanged at grown-up gift exchanges, when their price is subtly judged. When the neighbourhood ladies gather for a ‘festive’ celebration to honor the spirit of Christmas, all the while battling for the most expensive looking ornament. This tree is home to delicately draped ribbon and precisely placed lights, all emphasizing the aesthetic value of this so called spiritual holiday.
Right there is my problem. These women claim they really appreciate the family values of Christmas, the spirit of togetherness that comes with the season and accepting everyone’s imperfections. They appreciate Uncle Albert’s tacky Christmas sweaters, Grandma’s knitting and the candy cane covered kids tumbling around, searching for package’s with their name.
Christmas is about embracing that tacky weirdness that exists in every family, not banishing those traits into the upstairs hallway. Every family has those traits and no perfectly placed, eloquently decorated, superficial tree fools anyone. Embrace the tackiness. Don’t stifle it. That, to me, is the spirit of Christmas.