December 17, 2007

How Lovely Are Thy Branches

The Christmas tree we had when I was growing up was so bad that I'm not sure there are words to describe it. If you had to pin a style to it, I'd say it was very white trashesque with a healthy dollop of cheap whore. This tree was artificial and enormous. It might possibly have been the largest fake tree ever made in the history of all mankind. Not that I'm really up on the history of artificial trees, I'm just guessing.

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.

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.
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.

Good times, kids. Good times.

Take Care,
Babs the Tinsel Sniffer


  1. As if I don't waste enough time, your fucking Kaleidoscope link brought me here.

    I'll give you the benefit of my experience: left-clicking changes the color.

    I think you should try to duplicate that tree today, and make a YouTube video of you -- and whomever else you can rope into the fun -- decorating it.

  2. Anonymous8:23 AM

    I've always enjoyed Christmas trees. I love the lights! My younger son really gets into the decorating thing. A couple of years ago, he insisted on setting up and decorating the tree by himself. He did a nice job. My older son likes looking at the tree, but he usually finds somewhere else to be at decorating time.

    I loved this line: "...pretending that there was real rum in the eggnog...." I was so sheltered, I had no clue that eggnog was supposed to have rum in it until I was an adult! Pathetic! Absolutely pathetic!

  3. So do you have a Christmas tree now as an adult, er um and the eggnog? I usually just skip the eggnog and head straight for the rum.

    Aand the very best way to look at a christmas tree is in the dark with the lights on and your glasses off, unless you don't wear glasses and then it would look normal.

  4. I'm one of those "it needs more lights" guys. It's been a tradition each year to buy another set of lights. I even convinced my wife to go along with that by showing her how each year they come out with new Hello Kitty lights. Yes, my need for lights is so bad I'll use Hello Kitty to weasel more onto the tree. I'm an addict! I'm like those people slurping cough medicine for a buzz, or a christmas zombie muttering, "need... more.... lights". Oh well, that's the true meaning of christmas, isn't it? Zombies. I mean, it's all about Jesus, right? The jewish zombie who flew out of a cave to save the world? Oh wait, that's Easter.

    I wonder if Georgia O'Keefe had a cow skull on her MoFUCT, with garland made from flowers that looked like the tree was wrapped in a string of vaginas.

    Sorry, I think I had too much coffee this morning.

  5. Ex - My fucking Kaleidoscope link took you to one of the coolest places in the whole wide world. Well, maybe not that cool, but it was fun. And do you know how long it would take me to make all the garland if I were to recreate that tree. Not to mention all the meat-themed ornaments.

    Chaplain - My mother always told us that rum extract tasted just as good as the real stuff. Which proved to me that my mother had never in her life really tasted rum.

    Carla - Yes, I have a tree. Maybe I'll have to share a picture of it. I still love eggnog, and I wear contacts so I guess I'll have to take them out and stare at the blurry tree some night. Sounds like fun!

    Philly - I think Hello Kitty lights takes it from an addiction to some kind of sickness. I do have to admit that I love lots of lights on a tree, though. Maybe someone should make vagina lights.

  6. I have always (at least as far back as I could remember) hated decorating the Christmas tree. One of the greatest joys in my life these days is that I live alone and I do no decorating at all (save the silver bell wreath on the front door).

    I actually like colored lights on trees, although I can appreciate a tree with all white lights. The first ten or so years of my life we had the infamous silver Christmas tree. I hated it, because you couldn't put any "fun" ornaments on it, just round glass balls. BORING! And there were no lights, except the ones that sat on the floor and spiralled the colors of the rainbow on it. I now wish I had that tree.