Anticipating my first Christmas as a married woman was really exciting to me, as it must be for all new brides. Why? Calling the shots and decorating your own tree is pretty much your first official ‘woman of the house’ act after marriage and I, for one, couldn’t wait.
My grandmothers had given me beautiful Hallmark Limited Edition ornaments every year from the time I was born. In addition to that, I collected ornaments from the many trips I had taken with my family and I was so excited to finally decorate my own Christmas tree. It was going to be wonderful.
I envisioned putting on a roast and a cute, frilly apron and playing Christmas music while we decorated our very first tree together. We would hang ornaments, string lights, laugh heartily at one another and sip cider with a fire crackling in the fireplace. There would be moments where we would embrace and gaze up at our tree with the full appreciation of the day when we would look back on this very moment fondly and with warm fuzzy nostalgia. I know what you are thinking. When does the “Every Kiss Begins With ‘K’…” jingle start to play?
It doesn’t, and here’s why.
As the newly anointed matriarch of my small family of two, it did not occur to me that my husband would have ANY Christmas decorating opinions. Why should he? He didn’t have any wedding opinions. He told me all the different wedding cake flavors were, "fine" at the tasting. So I figured that making executive decorating decisions was my job.
For the two weeks prior to the night that Andy and I would get into a fight over which size Christmas tree to buy at Home Depot and subsequently ride home in angry silence with a tree on top of our car, I laid out my ornaments very carefully on the dining room table. I painstakingly unwrapped each one, made sure it had a hook and arranged it on the table in the order that I wanted it to go on the tree.
Before decorating began and still resenting the other one from the Christmas tree height argument, we both stood back to admire “our first tree” together. It was very Little House on the Prairie but with obvious tension. My husband looked from the tree to the table of ornaments spread across the table as if this was the first time he had seen them.
“I have a great idea, honey.” He said with authority. I melted in spite of myself as I anticipated him suggesting we put aside our argument and put on an old Christmas movie or leave a funny Christmas message on our voicemail.
“What’s that sweetie?” I replied gazing up at the love of my life.
He took my hands in his.
“Why don’t we decorate the entire tree…in silver?”
It was like I had been slapped. “What?”
“Yea, we could go to the store right now and get all silver ornaments and decorate the entire tree in them? That would look so cool. An all silver tree.” You could see him 'picturing it' in his mind's eye.
I pulled my hands away and glared. “Honey, we are going to put up these ornaments that I’ve been collecting for my entire life. I’ve been unwrapping them for two weeks”
He looked at the ornaments. “I know, but why do we need to put up old ornaments. Let’s go get new ornaments.”
So the first 'decorating o' the tree' did not quite happen as I had pictured it. There we were, in our pajamas with no crackling fire, no cider, no Christmas movie, no cute frilly apron and no conversation...flinging ornaments on the tree and trying to avoid eye contact.
It was memorable, alright.
It was memorable, alright.
The next week, I asked him what happen to our holiday-inspired cinnamon broomstick that I bought because I had always wanted one at Christmas to make our house smell good.
“Ugh, I put that on the porch.” He replied.
“You put my holiday cinnamon broomstick on the porch?"
“Yea. I was tired of the house smelling like a pack of Big Red.”