Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Necessity is the mother of some such or something like that

Sunday night after the boys were asleep, The Ash and I busted open the boxes and decorated the tree that had stood in the corner all afternoon, naked, patiently waiting for our attention. Every year, somewhere during the tree decorating process, I find myself stepping back for a moment and considering the strangeness of this tradition. What might a visitor from another planet think of this practice of bringing a tree into one’s dwelling and adorning it with all manner of lights, ribbons, and bright shiny objects of various shapes? Not to mention the rest of the traditional Christmas decor. You know which one always cracks me up? The nativity scene with the kneeling Santa Claus. That’s just the most Christmasarrific mashup ever. Maybe at Easter, there should be a giant bunny dressed as a Roman soldier. Or maybe a wabbit pushing a stone away from a cave. I’d put that on my lawn.

Monday morning, the boys discovered the tree. Our nearly one-year-old is plenty mobile and plenty curious, so we left the bottom foot or so of the tree undecorated. It’s like the tree is dressed in a short skirt. Just showing off a little leg, ya know? Hey, a tree’s got needs. So I watched as the nearly one-year-old, my little New Year’s Eve baby, eyed the lowest hanging ornament, a shiny silver bell with colorful stripes all the way around. From his sitting up position it was well out of his reach. He raised his hand towards it and attempted to stand. His legs wobbled for a moment, then he thunked back down on his little baby butt. He tried again, same results. I watched him try this maneuver again and again, never taking his eyes off of that bell. Finally, he stood up and held his stance firmly, long enough to reach out and pluck the ornament off of the tree. I have you now, pretty shing thing. With it safely in his grasp, he sat back down and inspected his find more closely. The bell remained stoic.

I suppose if all the good tasting fruit grew out of the ground, humankind would still be crawling.

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