December 14, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me.

I am not singing "O, Christmas Tree," the carol we learned as babes, but a very exasperated "OH, Christmas Tree!" See, here's the thing...Christmas trees can be a thing of beauty or they can be a pain the rear end.  Mine, the first one up in Serendipity in four years, definitely fits into the latter category.

Now, I love a Christmas tree.  Especially a live one.  The pine smell is wonderful.  We'll overlook the need to keep them watered; the pricking of the skin as you try to decorate it; and the dropped needles which show up for months after the tree has been discarded.  A live tree beats an artificial tree any day of the week.  Although I must say that the artificial trees which I've seen over the last few years are awesome. Unless you bought a cheap, end-of-the-season, clearance item like I did.

A very good friend of mine has a saying: "You get what you pay for."  That refrain keeps sounding through my head as I try, in vain, to make this raggedy tree into something respectable.  Lawd, Lawd. This tree has more gaps in it than most of the mouths around here.  Tree Decorator Extraordinaire, Donna, says "That's why you need filler."  But the point is, I didn't intend to spend any money on "filler" or anything else. I have ornaments carefully collected and saved over the years, of sentimental value, and the ordinary bulbs, of course, which should adorn this toothpick quite nicely.  Now I have to buy filler?

The deco mesh, currently in vogue, is a good bet.  But where do you get it around here?  A shop in Jackson?  Right. The intent was to hit the shop when I went on my shopping spree but...Thomasina died (another post) and I had no idea as how to get there.  Plus we were experiencing a monsoon, so Hobby Lobby (a crafter's dream) was the shopping place of choice. 

Seems like I was too damned late; they were consolidating their Christmas section and there was no deco mesh in sight. They had something called Deco Drape or something and I did find a gorgeous tree skirt; no cotton batting for the Kid, this year.  Even with everything marked down to 50%, I spent too damned much money.

The Deco Drape, or whatever, is god-awful!   Shimmery, slinky, and difficult to work with.  I googled the stuff to see how people worked with and even emailed Hobby Lobby.  "Oh, we just love it, especially around the base of the tree and on the mantle," was the response.  I HATE it! But it is on the tree and the tree is still ugly.

Decorator Extraordinaire suggested that I visit Something Special, a gift shop in Ripley, which I pass with regularity. It never looks open so I've never bothered to stop.  Oh, my! I could live in there!  They've been in business since 1975, so they must be doing something right.  Very little of the deco mesh...lime green doesn't fit the motif, sorry.  Mo' money.

Needless to say, the tree is still incomplete. Only one wreath is put together and the weather is not cooperating for putting up outside decorations. However, I have two weeks to go.  Serendipity will be decorated. And next year, I'll start shopping for that damned deco mesh in October, along with everyone else!

Oh, Christmas Tree!  Be Safe. Be Blessed!

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