Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Decorations--New

"Which one do you like?" I asked holding up a silver snowman and a gold snowflake.
"Do I have to?" Mr. Wonderful said rolling his eyes in the busy Christmas aisle of the local holiday store.
"It's a tradition worth continuing."  
"But I don't want one."
"I want you to want one."
"I was afraid of that." 


Ahhh, Christmas. It's the only time of the year that I buy frivolous things like blenders, mixers and a wedding anniversary gift for my spouse and me. Growing up, I received a new ornament every year and I decided--yesterday--to restart the tradition this year in our new house. Which meant that I needed a new ornament, Mr. Wonderful needed a new ornament and my car needed a new hood ornament. 

Okay, maybe "need" was pushing things a little too far. So if I didn't "need" one, at least I really, really wanted one with a cherry and whip cream on top. To make me feel better about buying superfluous things, I was insisting that Mr. Wonderful also get an ornament. It was with this latter element that I erred on several fronts: 1) I took a man shopping; 2) I did this during the holiday rush; 3) I wanted him to choose a decoration?! Had I gone mad?!

Mr. Wonderful is many things: handsome, dependable, talented, handy, funny, charm-- But I digress. My point is, Mr. Wonderful is many things except a decorator. He does not like frou-frou decorations and the only thing he dislikes more that frou-frou decorations is being forced to buy frou-frou decorations on a busy Saturday at the mall 10 days before Christmas. Suddenly I felt guilty for dragging him here.

"If you want to forget this and go home, do it," I said with a shrug.
"Great!" he said pulling the car keys out of his pocket and bee-lining for the mall exit. Oh, no! If I didn't stop him he'd be gone, I'd have to get his and my ornaments and then bum a ride home from Santa or one of his elves because having seen the carnaval-like atmosphere at the mall with frantic shoppers and different Christmas tunes blaring from every different store, my spouse would never return to the mall to pick me up. I'd be stuck there with "Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer" into infinity. I needed to do something fast.

"Before you go, pick out your own ornament." He stopped in his tracks.
"You want me to pick out an ornament?"
"I know you hate frou-frou decorations."
"But I hate frou-frou decorations."
"Just get whatever you want." His eyes locked on mine and he paused. For six full seconds.
"I'll only get an ornament if Jackson gets one, too." 

In this world there are givers and takers and I was a definite giver, helping my family, friends, and complete and utter strangers. There wasn't a taking bone in my body. But our tuxedo cat, Jackson, he was a serious taker. He took food, toys and all of our attention at all hours of the night and day meowing incessantly until he got petted, brushed and stroked enough to his liking. It was enough to turn Mother Theresa over in her grave. Why should we get our cat an ornament? 

"Deal?" Mr. Wonderful said sticking out his hand. Try as I might, I couldn't be stingy at this time of the year, not even toward the ultimate feline taker.  

I shook my spouse's hand and he disappeared among the ornament racks looking for the ideal ornament, looking for something that spoke to him. Meanwhile I spun the rack looking for something for Jackson, when BOOM! I found it! It was an ornament with a cat on it that totally summed up Jackson's taker life and luxury lifestyle. 

Just then Mr. Wonderful returned grinning. He'd found an ornament for himself.
"That was fast," I said being infected with Mr. Wonderful's excitement. "Let's see it." He held up a papier m√Ęche ball.
"It's not frou-frou," he said. "Plus I can fix it up anyway I want it to. Although I sort of like it just as it is."


"It's perfectly you." I said admiring the simplicity of his ornament and taste. "Here's Jackson's," I said holding up a confection with a beret-wearing cat on a settee covered in glitter. Mr. Wonderful laughed. 


"It's so luxurious, frou-frou and totally him!"

With ornaments bought and mission accomplished, we left the busy mall holding hands to go decorate our tree. And our tree wasn't frou-frou at all.