Our Christmas tree is an understated item that tucks into one corner of our family room. It may not be large, but it meets several requirements. First, it fits in a room that doesn’t have much room to spare. Second, it won’t catch on fire. Since the woodstove is also in that room, that’s a good thing. Third, it’s pretty easy to deal with.
You’ve likely guessed that it’s an artificial tree. We’ve had our share of fresh cut trees and a few tiny live trees that we hoped to plant in the spring. “Fresh cut” often seemed like cut-last-July and the live little guys never lived long enough to make it into the ground. In addition, we have a dog and two cats who visit the tree, so one that doesn’t involve water and electricity is nice. When we had fresh cut trees, the female dogs drank the water. The male dog added water. The cats climbed, and bapped, and pulled, and poked and removed ornaments for sport. I thought a small artificial tree would discourage climbing, but no.
We decorate in layers. The lower three feet, a.k.a. easy for cats to reach and in the wag-zone of the dog, is plastic balls wrapped in silk-like thread. A few of these get repurposed as cat toys every year, but that’s OK.
The top of the tree is full of “special” ornaments, many of which are featured in the gallery. I wanted to give you a little background on the beloved pets that some of these ornaments represent, but that would problematic for several reasons:
1) The post would be close to 1,000 words about our current and previous pets. While I know some wouldn’t mind, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to introduce them all in one fell swoop.
2) The post may not be able to escape the gravity of the editing room floor. The Mrs. and I have never achieved a consensus opinion on a few of these pets. This stems from incongruent memories like those of a cat who could do no wrong (in her mind) and a cat who, for years, waited outside the bedroom door and bit my ankle every morning. Those, by the way, are the same cat.
3) There are too many stories to tell. No amount of praise would be enough to highlight the inherent goodness that was Oreo. If I were to limit his story to 150-200 words, I’m sure I would be sent back to the drawing board with orders of “more, more, more.”
Take a look at the gallery. The captions are meant to explain the essence and chronological order of each animal. You’ll note that there is no ornament for Maddie. That’s because Irish Setter ornaments are hard to find, and frankly, the jury is still out on her.