Monday, December 15, 2014

Commandments for ornaments.

Decorating trees is hard. Little kids think it's easy, but then, they have no taste, no sense of composition. They just stuff everything where they can reach, and then leave when they get bored. If the Bumble had been a toddler, the star would have been stuck on a low branch, then he'd have gone off for cookie break.

I admit I like the look of a Christmas tree with theme ornaments, like all red balls or all angels or something. Very striking. But for the home I like all the sentimental ornaments, like kids' homemade stuff and family legacy ornaments, mixed in with some classic glass balls in a variety of colors, Hallmark gift ornaments, oddball items found here and there, you name it. I like a melange, an olio, a potpourri, a hodgepodge of ornaments on my tree.

Even so, there are rules to what you can have and how you can hang it. These ornament commandments are instinctively known to people with taste and discernment, but for the sake of others, I am compelled to spell them out. They are pretty simple.

1. No Mao ornaments. Anyone who did or would have killed people who celebrated Christmas should probably not be included on the tree.

2. Don't clump the ornaments in one place and ignore the rest of the tree. Silly toddler.

3. Yes, you have to decorate the back of the tree. Shouldn't be squashed up against a wall anyway. But yes, you can put the ugly, dull, or otherwise unappealing ornaments back there.

4. Keep clashing colors away from each other.

5. Avoid clutches of similar colors. A large mob of red ornaments in one spot, for example, draws the eye. You're not decorating Jupiter here.

6. If toddlers are going to be allowed to approach the tree, nothing breakable on lower branches; better yet, nothing breakable anywhere. It doesn't take a lot of yanking to dislodge ornaments farther up. Probably better to put a cage around the tree. Or around the toddler.

7. If Grandma is coming over, no ornaments that would be offensive to Grandma. What's the matter with you?

8. As with rule 5, avoid clumping a lot of very similar ornaments. Like having one spot with a lot of snowmen. Better to spread them around so they don't cause trouble. I think they may be drunk, anyway.

"I'm *hic* gonna kick Olaf's ass!"
9. For any electrical ornaments, follow the same safety tips would for the lights. And no ornaments that involve actual fire, please.

10. Put up all the kids' handmade ornaments. Adults love to see that stuff. When the kids get to be teenagers and are embarrassed by them, put them in more prominent places. We all need a little humility at this time of year.

You won't be arrested or cast into the outer darkness if you defy these rules; you'll just show a lack of taste and discernment, and maybe injure yourself or others. Hey, if these things are unimportant to you, knock yourself out.

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