Rating Christmas Tree Decorations: The Seventh Day of Giftmas 2012

cat-in-trees-1Tinsel: Great for households that don’t have cats or dogs or vacuums, but the cost isn’t worth the benefit for the amount of time I have allocated for tree decorating. I have inherited craft project-type ornaments from my younger years that still have tinsel somehow stuck in the hooks and yarn and macaroni. Sure it makes the tree sparkle, but it’s not worth the unclumping efforts. Apparently my application method of using a paper towel roll as a blow dart gun clustered the tinsel too heavily in certain areas. C-

Balls: I don’t mind balls if there’s some sort of theme to them. But going out every three years to buy more balls that don’t really match the remaining ones we were able to salvage after yet another unsuccessful year of packing them away because there is no good way to protect them given the amount of time I have allocated for tree decoration storage just uglies up the tree in a way that makes stocking leg lamps look less tacky. C+

Candy Canes: Brilliant! Decorations that look good and can double as minty treats any time you walk past the tree? This concept needs to catch on in other ways. Chocolate picture frames. Or fruit roll up wall paper. Or maybe not. But I still like the concept of edible tree ornaments that you can dip in your coffee. But after a hundred years, they need to find a better way to package them so I don’t have to ruin my teeth and inevitably swallow a little bit of plastic just getting to them. A

Lights: Much like balls, lights can be done very poorly. Trees with lights on a third of the tree that blink when the other two thirds don’t make the whole production look unorganized. Lights that only cover three quarters of the tree look cheap. Those sheets of lights that you just throw on the tree look lazy. Not to set America back forty years, but mixing coloreds with whites is not a good idea for Christmas trees. But when done well, they are really the only essential element in tree decorating. I’m just glad they fixed that whole “one light goes out, they all go out” mess. That cost me about five weeks of my childhood. If only you could also eat them. A-

Garland: We never used garland. I always though it looked too much like a burlesque dancer’s boa and I’m not in the habit of trying to make my Christmas trees look like whores. D

Homemade Decorations: This is what personalizes a tree. Sure, there are some blue and silver ball-only concepts with well-spaced lights that look aesthetically great, but the little macaroni man from my 2nd grade art class is worth more than all the candy canes you can fit on a Douglas fir. They are special memories for parents that can last a lifetime. But they will more than likely get lost and/or broken more and more every year until all you’re left with is the stupid pinwheel-looking star catcher you made out of yarn and popsicle sticks that you never liked in the first place and your parents thought was ugly too but were too nice to tell you because it was a gift to them in the spirit of Christmas. But that’s my issue, not yours. I can’t even remember Macaroni Mike’s face anymore. A+

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