White Lights: You ask houseguests to remove their shoes.
Multicolored Lights: You're an extrovert.
Blinking Lights: You have attention deficit disorder.
Homemade Ornaments: You have lots of children.
Strung Popcorn: You have too much time on your hands.
Red balls only: You wish you lived in a department store.
Only none of these apply to me. What does my Christmas tree say about me?
Well, the fact that my boys, JW the ever non traditional and Q the teen boy, almost stopped me from putting it up altogether should say something.
We’re sort of ‘stuck’ in Ghana this year. This means we’ve all flown so much during the year that we couldn’t be bothered to plan and execute a family holiday half way across the world. So here we are.
We decided with friends to head down the coast for the few days over Christmas. No tradition, just beach, barbeques, vegging out.
BUT as the days grew closer I felt the inexplicable tug, that voice that says, ‘Put something up!”, “make it look a bit like Christmas around here!” So I voiced it. God forbid! I got attacked on two sides.
“Why? We won’t even BE here! We have no presents this year, remember we agreed!”
“You’ve become your mother.”
No offense Mom, but when it comes to Christmas you’re a hard act at follow. Ever since I can remember our house was decked out – from the designer wreath at the front door, to vines up the banister. Christmas scene in the living room bay window, candle clusters with holly, and a tree out of a designer mag for sure. Martha Stewart has nothing on my mom. One year, she saw a magnificent tree in a shop, decorated completely in white and gold. It was fully lit. People stopped to marvel at it. She then approached the store manager, made an offer, and ended up carting off the whole tree, wrapped in cellophane, fully decorated and lit. (No serious work THAT year!) And since this year my sister and her little family have taken over the family house, the tradition will carry on.
Then there’s me – the black sheep. Spent most Christmases over the past 13 years in Africa, or as a guest. Never made a Christmas turkey, never decked the halls, never had a designer tree.
This year takes the award for the least effort made in a Christmas tree erection.
I gave in though to the little voice, and dragged out the black wrought iron tree. It’s about 2 feet tall and has little spots for tea lights, but JW pointed out that it looks more like an orange seller’s stand in Ghana. It just might be the origin of our little tree, come to think of it!
I bought some hand casted Ghanaian glass stars at a sale and hung them with ribbon from our sad black tree. Added a few left over ornaments from unremembered Christmases past, and voila! My attempt at 2009 Christmas decorations.
Now what would the experts say about that? My tree isn’t real or fake. It’s metal! There are no white OR multicoloured lights. There just might be candles. There are no designer or homemade decorations, just a few Ghanaian made stars and some old leftovers.
But I’ve got my loved ones around me. And lots of vodka, wine and chocolate.
I might even make some Christmas chocolate squares… or I might drink more vodka and eat all the raw ingredients.
Merry Christmas Holli style ☺