The tree was at its best when it was naked, but like the good Christians we were nothing could be naked in our house. Oh no, we had to toss ugly things at this tree, and turn it into The Mother of Fucking Ugly Christmas Trees, or MoFUCT. We had boxes of ugliness just waiting for this moment. The first box of ugly held multi-colored lights, and since we were obviously indecisive about whether or not we even wanted lights on the tree, we put in that one special bulb that made them flash on and off. I can remember sitting in front of this huge blinking tree completely mesmerized by the lights. I think that's the reason some of my brain synapses fail to fire on occasion. I was short-circuited by multi-colored, flashing Christmas tree lights.
Opening the second box of ugly required doing so in the dark so you wouldn't blind yourself, because it held roughly 600 feet of very shiny silver and gold tinsel garland. It was so shiny that whoever opened the box had flash burns on their face for weeks afterwards. On a side note, as much as I hate the look of tinsel garland, I totally dig how it smells, and every time I see it in a store I smell it. After I make sure no one is looking. That's weird, isn't it? And probably something I shouldn't share with everyone, but oh well.
After the tinsel garlands came the many construction paper garlands that I'd made in school. Then, in the fifth grade I was visited by the yarn fairy and she blessed me with the gift of being able to knit on my fingers. I used my newly found magical powers and some multi-colored yarn to make yet another lovely garland for this tree. After all the lights and garlands were on, MoFuct weighed approximately 687 pounds. We had to tether it to cleats on the floor, for fear it would fall on one of us and we would have to suffer the embarrassment of being crushed to death by tacky.
And the final boxes of ugly housed the ornaments. They were bad. The ornaments not the boxes. In fact, we should have just put the boxes on the tree. The ornaments were so bad, that not by any stretch of the imagination could you even describe them as quirky. Here are a few of the more memorable ones:
The bell my brother had made out of a section of a cardboard egg carton. He painted the top half blue and the bottom half was gold. And to make it go way past the point of groovy, he used a paper clip for the hook.I'd like to say that decorating the tree at our house was a magical time with carols being played in the background, a fire crackling in the fireplace and everyone's hands wrapped around heavy mugs of hot chocolate while the spirit of Christmas settled on our house, bathing it in a heavenly glow. But my pants would so be on fire, because that would be a big, fat lie. Our decorating time was mostly us kids making fun of the ornaments and each other, shuffling our socked feet across our avocado green, shag carpeting so we could shock ourselves when we touched the tinsel garland, and pretending that there was real rum in the eggnog and we were all drunk and that's why MoFUCT looked like Elvis had decorated it in one of his less lucid moments.
The turkey wishbone that my sister glued tiny gold stars to. As in a bone from a turkey. We had an animal bone on our tree, people! I think we should have just gone all out with the "Hey, we're meat eaters theme" and used a cow skull as a tree topper.
The smiley face thing I made at Kaleidoscope. The face was made of red velveteen paper, and I used melted crayons to make the eyes and mouth. But I couldn't stop there. The aroma of melted crayons obviously made me delusional, because I thought it would be simply smashing if I dabbed yellow and green spots all over the face. Zits? Measles? Chickenpox? I dunno. I was 8 and a Baptist, okay?
The snowflakes and angels I'd made out of styrofoam meat trays. Mmmm. More meat-themed ornaments. Nothing says Christmas like carnivorous decor.
But my favorite ornament was the plastic, glitter-covered nativity scene that had a hole in the back so you could stick one of the lights through it and bathe the baby Jesus in green, red, yellow, or blue light. I always liked the green Baby Jesus best. It made him look like an alien. My very own, green, glowing, alien Baby Jesus.
Good times, kids. Good times.
Babs the Tinsel Sniffer