Author Topic: And a partridge in a pear tree  (Read 2623 times)

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M-theory

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And a partridge in a pear tree
« on: December 16, 2010, 05:10:28 PM »
I haven't celebrated Christmas in several years. However, I'm currently staying with my grandmother, who celebrates it herself. Therefore, today I got shanghaied* into doing all the decorating.

I really enjoyed decorating trees as a little girl. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that my mother bought me a miniature tree when I was five, which I decorated for the next eight years. Back then, I was happy with random placement of ornaments. It seems that's no longer the case.

Did you know a person can spend over an hour and a half on a less-than-two-foot tree? I did this afternoon. I wouldn't have if I'd come up with a system beforehand, possibly, but as it stands I kept having to rearrange ornaments because a given area was too wreath-y, or too white and gold, or whatever. My grandmother, sitting on the couch, noted that I moved one ornament (some potpourri gathered in red lace and tied with red and green ribbons with matching rosettes) seven times.

The wreath on the front door is crooked. She doesn't believe me, but it is. I know what I'm going to be doing at 4 AM. I've been waking up in the middle of the night and not able to go back to sleep, so I know I'm going to jolt into full adrenaline-juiced consciousness screaming "Poopadities, that wreath is still crooked!"

I think this is why I have so little success in long-term rel@tionships; the cosmos understands the need to protect me from getting married and then Stepford Wife-ing my way into the asylum: "But those cupcakes had the wrong sprinkles!" "That's nice, M., time for your meds!"


*I volunteered. Never again.

Little Jo

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2010, 07:20:26 PM »
Are you my sister? She decorated using a ruler and a spirit level. Just to annoy her I have put one blue bauble up with all the gold and red ones.

lady_disdain

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2010, 07:42:42 PM »
Christmas decoration - such joy!

My father and I are both engineers and we argue about the right way to unwind the roll of lights and how to put them on tree, on ornament density and distribution and, of course, how to hang up the wall decorations. All in - mostly - good spirit.

My poor mother just humours us.

Luci

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2010, 07:50:26 PM »
Are you my sister? She decorated using a ruler and a spirit level. Just to annoy her I have put one blue bauble up with all the gold and red ones.

Oh! Joy! I have just found my long lost favorite great nieces!

Now I may have a potential mate for you - he loved lining his cars by color as a child and his tree is absolutely perfect! He will throw out the favored ornament instead of putting it in the wrong spot! Forbid that the tinsel is clumped or not even!

Outdoor Girl

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2010, 10:53:41 AM »
In my father's family, they ran the garland to cover the light wires.  Yeah  :P

So my father learned from my mother that the garland must drape evenly!  It got to the point that he would put the lights on and then leave the rest to Mom and me.

I'm not really anal about where everything has to go but if a number of the ornaments are similar, they have to be on opposite sides or top to bottom.  They can't be near each other!

I've been known to adjust the tree after the friends who 'helped' me decorate went home.   :D

I've solved my OCD issues, though.  I don't bother doing a tree anymore since I'm never home for Christmas.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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lady_disdain

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2010, 11:01:32 AM »
I'm not really anal about where everything has to go but if a number of the ornaments are similar, they have to be on opposite sides or top to bottom.  They can't be near each other!

And larger ornaments should go lower than smaller ornaments.

Lady Snowdon

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2010, 11:04:34 AM »
LOL!  DH is so anal about the lights I can't even stand it.  We have a 6 ft tall Christmas tree.  Last year there were FOUR strands of lights wrapped around it, because every inch has to be perfectly arranged, and wrapped, and positioned.  It's the first time I've ever given up on helping decorate the tree! 

I bought a new, pre-lit tree this year.  He still says it's not arranged evenly, and wants to mess with it.  I forbid it. 

crankycat

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2010, 11:13:38 AM »
My name is crankycat and I am a recovering tree perfectionist.

We have a 6.5' white tree.  I actually let my DH put on the lights this year.  I even ignored the fact that he did it "wrong".  (Okay, I did make him go back to the store for one more strand, since there were naked branches.  And I might have turned the tree a teensy bit when he wasn't looking to hid a place where the wires were showing too much.)

This year's color theme for the ornaments was "Barbie" pink, purple, lime green, and silver.  I took the ornaments I wanted on the tree out of the boxes and let DH hang them.  I only moved around a dozen or so....so far.


M-theory

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2010, 11:15:17 AM »
Crankycat, that tree is fabulous. I'd be tempted to add a sparkly feather boa as garland, though.

Thank you all for making me feel less crazy! I did wake up at 3 AM, but didn't feel like being bothered with the wreath. Laziness wins, it seems.

happygrrl

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2010, 01:45:05 PM »
Quote
My father and I are both engineers and we argue about the right way to unwind the roll of lights and how to put them on tree, on ornament density and distribution and, of course, how to hang up the wall decorations.

Excellent!  ;D
"I am the laziest person on Earth. I want to learn to photosynthesize so I can buy a sun lamp and survive without getting out of bed."  M-theory 11/23/10

Piratelvr1121

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2010, 02:06:44 PM »
I let the boys help me decorate the tree and the only stipulations were that they should not have identical ornaments next to each other and ribbons hung with cream ribbon (we used cream and aqua colored ribbon instead of wire hangers) should not be next to each other.   

One of them did try to get away with clumping a bunch of tiny gold ornaments together on the same hook but thankfully that was taken care of when I got the idea to use ribbons instead of hooks. :)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Thipu1

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 12:11:57 PM »
There is a proper way to decorate a tree. 

Unfortunately, each tree has its own proper decoration.

Coming from an old German family. this is how we do it. 

The tree-topper goes on first.  This is a prudent thing to do.  Putting it on after the entire tree is decorated is an invitation to disaster.  Our tree-topper is a German spike.  Mr. Thipu says it looks like something that Kaiser Wilhelm would put on his helmet for a festive occasion.  I think it looks just fine.

The lights are next.  They must be lit before they're draped around the tree so that you can see what you're doing.  There must be a certain proportion observed.  There will be few lights at the top of the tree and more lights toward the bottom.  Perspective is the issue here.  The same thing is done in Disney theme-parks.

It's now time for the garland.  We have two sizes.  The wider garland goes on the bottom of the tree and a thinner one goes around the top.  This helps keep the tree in balance.  Years ago I stood aghast to see two women decorating an office tree.  They shoved the garland in around the trunk.  Garland must go outside and work with the lights.  After all if a tree is sparse, garland can serve to support light ornaments.

Ah, the ornaments.  The good ones are hung first.  We have a German glass bird that's about 140 years old.  That goes into a prominent but safe place.  We have Chinese ornaments painted inside with New York scenes.  These have to be carefully placed.  There are the mummies to be properly situated.  After that, almost all bets are off.

There are only two other rules for decorating a Christmas Tree. 

1) Small ornaments should be placed near the top and larger ornaments placed near the bottom.

2) Ornaments at the very bottom of the tree should be of the unbreakable variety.  People will be putting presents under the tree and taking presents from under the tree.  You don't want anyone to encounter broken glass. 
 

     

 

M-theory

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2010, 12:21:24 PM »
Our tree-topper is a German spike.  Mr. Thipu says it looks like something that Kaiser Wilhelm would put on his helmet for a festive occasion. 

My ethnic German-ness approves. ;D

Piratelvr1121

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 12:43:06 PM »
Speaking of German traditions, a friend once gave me a pickle ornament, which is always hung on the tree, though I admit we don't always do the whole tradition of having an extra surprise for the one who finds it.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Luci

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Re: And a partridge in a pear tree
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2010, 12:57:10 PM »
My African spider ornament broke this year!