|Image: Nicole Wakelin|
Somewhere, back in the dark ages when I was a newlywed, I thought I was going to make my tree all Martha Stewart. I know, but, that woman knows how to make a tree look like a million bucks. Probably because she spent a million bucks, but I was young and naive and convinced I could do it just like she did. So, I bought these really cute, delicate ornaments shaped like bells and birdcages and lemons. I have no idea why I bought a lemon, or the plum that seems to go with it, other than that they were cute and shiny. Shiny has it's way with me on a regular basis.
There I was, newlywed Martha Stewart in-the-making with a giant tree, a lemon and a plum. It was like the Charlie Brown tree, only it was much bigger and not dying, just really pitifully decorated. We decided a shopping trip needed to be made and more ornaments acquired. This led to the mall and the mall led to Hallmark, and there we found the true geek spirit of Christmas. Yes, we found the Star Wars ornaments. They lit up. They made sounds. They had to come home with us. Forget Martha Stewart and her ridiculous bows and lemons. I had an X-Wing!
We still needed lights, though, so off to the discount store where we found the most amazing set of lights ever. Ever. It had a dial with five different blink settings. They could twinkle, flash, alternate off and on, do the wave and there was even a bizarro setting that probably should have come with a warning that it might induce a seizure. It was awesome.
We bought these light only to realize, once we were home, that they were way too long for our little tree. Solution? We decorated the daylights out of our balcony. In our giant apartment complex, you could single our our apartment because it blazed with all the glory of the sun. I am sure that our neighbors loved us and cried when we moved out and bought a house. Oh, but the decorating opportunities at a house? I couldn't wait.
That first year, I believe we may have taken out a second mortgage and sold our unborn daughter's soul to the devil, but it was worth it. We had lights and garland everywhere. And red ribbons. And those net lights you can just toss on your shrubs for instant Christmasification. And there was the tree, right in our front window which blazed forth into our neighborhood, alienating people we hadn't even met yet! Again. Awesome.
It's been a few years now since we bought this house. In that time, several blow-ups have been added to the front lawn because the kids love them and, as soon as they asked my husband for one, he jumped at the chance. It had nothing to do with him wanting a see-sawing penguin and snowman on our front lawn. At all. It was just for the kids. And our glorious set of seizure lights has died, but, it's not a problem.
Over the years we have purchased every ship from Star Wars and Star Trek that we could get our hands on. Most light up and some make cool sound effects, but all of them are fantastic. As we plug them in and press their little buttons you hear the glorious sounds of Spock and Kirk and even the Emperor threatening to show us the power of his fully armed and operational battle station. All this mingled with sweet sounds of Christmas carols and my children's laughter. But the best part? The part that brings out my inner twelve year old and has me making sound effects of my own and swooping ornaments across the tree? Posing them so they're chasing after each other, and maybe even blowing up shiny lemons.