When I was about 10 years old, I thought my mother was cheap when it came to Christmas tree decorating. We had only 2 or 3 boxes of ornaments — and I didn’t like any of them! I always wanted her to buy us more. After working on the lights this evening, I’ve changed my mind.
I strung 3 long strands of lights, making sure each strand lit before I wound it around the tree. I had finished about half the tree when I plugged the three strands together. Sparks didn’t fly, but I did hear one strand pop. The string of lights was gone, filler for the kitchen trashcan. The strings were old so I wasn’t surprised that one of them didn’t work. I just wish it had happened before it went on the tree. With not enough white lights to finish the tree, I had to switch to strands of the multi-colored lights — after I removed the strands already on the tree.
By the time I checked another 5 strands of lights and placed them on the tree, I was tired. But, since I had opened one container of ornaments, I dug deep to find the motivation to get those 100 ornaments on the tree. One hour later, my tree, while not finished, looks okay. I may leave it as-is.
Why? I’ve reassessed my mother’s tree-trimming days of my childhood. I think that the small allotment of ornaments she owned was not due to frugality. She wasn’t cheap; she was tired. We had exactly the number of ornaments that she had energy to hang once the kids grew tired of decorating the tree.
Hanging ornaments this evening, I thought about those ornaments and grew a bit nostalgic over them. What happened to them? I wondered.
And then my senses came back to me: those ornaments are still ugly and I don’t have the energy to put out all the ornaments I already own!