“Decoration”

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic… Whoops! Wrong preamble. Just seeing if you’ve been paying attention. (;

A few years ago, I wrote a short Christmas story in which (nutshell version) fifteen-year-old Al Fischer spends the holiday enthusiastically telling his family everything he loves about the Christmas season.

By purist coincidence (or not…), Al and his author have similar ideas about Christmas. And he’ll be pleased to know that I’ve decided to commemorate our mutual obsession here on Ever On Word by dedicating a series of blog posts to The Top 10 Reasons Christmas Rocks My World.

* * *

#3: Decoration

            I don’t know about your geographical area, but in mine, you know it’s Christmas when the dark-by-mid-afternoon streets are lined with trees and houses aglow with strings of lights. Or maybe it’s February, and not everyone’s bothered to remove the evidence of last year’s “act, process, technique, or art of furnishing, providing, or adorning with something ornamental” yet. Or maybe it’s like that one episode I saw of the “Garfield and Friends” show, a good decade ago, where everyone got themselves through a heat wave by decking their halls in July. But chances are it’s Christmas.

            If you enjoy the pretty, the tacky, the adorable, or some combination thereof, Christmas is a great time of year to have your eyesight.

            It’s not just rows of little bulbs turning ordinary homes and shrubbery into what looks like an extension of a starry sky.

            It’s the wreaths interwoven with ribbons and pinecones and bells, hanging on doors like a silent “Merry Christmas”.

            It’s a nighttime room with all in darkness save the red and blue and evergreen glow from the boughs bejeweled with shiny balls and candy canes and who-can-quite-tell-what-that-is, handmade by a precious four-year-old; don’t forget the angel or the star on top.

            It’s the nutcracker that stands soldier-straight from painted feet to tuft of beard on the jaw that yawns so weirdly wide, and you can’t tell whether you’d trust him as your prince or try your luck with a mouse king on your own.

            It’s the dancing snowmen and the waving Santas and the mantle or desk or coffee table covered in cards from friends you haven’t heard from since this time last year.

            Yes, it’s even the snow you spent all day shoveling out of your cruelly lengthy driveway yesterday. You didn’t have anything to do with putting it out there, and your back’s still sore, and you hate the cold, but you spent a good twenty minutes doing nothing but watch the fluffy crystals fall, because nuisance or not, it was beautiful.

            Just for a little while, it’s life in a snow-globe, or a Kincaid painting, or the sugarplum dreams of a child on Christmas Eve.

            It’s not quite all that these sentimental musings are making it out to be. And at the same time, it’s all that and more. It’s Christmas for the eyes, and were it to happen all over again in July, I’m not so sure I’d mind.

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