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Oh Christmas Tree

It's Christmas time, it's Christmas time... let bells on bobtail ring!

There's something about the anticipation of tiny hooves on my rooftop that make me squeal like a little girl.

I remember when I was a silly gleeful girl; the lead-up to Christmas was something else.  I regaled you last year with tales of Christmas office parties, but I thought this year I'd take it down a notch and get a little G-rated... just for fun.  I promise I won't make a habit of it.

To set the scene I should to tell you, my mother’s occupation when I was wee, was a toy shop proprietor.  Can you say spoiled?  Well, I sure could.  Christmas at my house was a display.  It was merchandised in hippy chic and oh what chic it was.  Every year the sight was sure to dazzle even the most grinchy of spirit.

The tree was decorated beautifully.  It was a real tree–so the living room was filled with the scent of fresh cut pine.  The branches were perfectly spaced to allow each and every ornament its time in the spotlight.  Our traditions were few, we didn't hold fast to any sort of decorating rules so the tree was filled with hand-made, store-bought and found trinkets, bobbles, bells and bows.  The lights twinkled and made the whole tannenbaum blink with pride.  Oh yes, and I sang and sang “Oh Christmas Tree” at the top of my lungs and played with the tinsel until the glare from each shiny strand blinded me.  The tree was it–Christmas spirit in all its glory!

As a family, we would go and pick out our special gem from a Boy Scout stand, or some such grassroots group.  For a special treat I was always allowed to pick out a small tree for beside my bed.  I'd pick out the most homely tree because my heart hurt that it wouldn't get chosen by anyone and it would die a sad tragic death devoid of glitz.  I was very careful with my selection because I didn't want to hurt any of the other trees’ feelings.  Cute.  I still sort of feel that way now; I go for the saddest little loveless creature and take it home with me.  The underdog syndrome–I suffer from it badly.

So, we have the stage set with the beautiful Christmas tree, both in the living room and the gorgeous Charlie Brown one beside my bed, now we need to dress the occasion with further props... presents.

Now these, these were something else.  Have I mentioned I'm an only child?  An only child whose mom owned a toy store? Yup, spoiled, rotten–I apologize to no one.

There were always lots of gifts tumbling out from beneath the trees branches–these were there to tempt and taunt me with their shapes.  I'd poke, shake, squeeze, touch, feel, smell and fondle each and every pretty package individually (things that sound dirty, but aren't).  I'd love them all, one by one, waiting for the morning when I could rip and tear to get at the glory held inside.  One problem... Christmas Eve.  How in the hell is a little girl–a spoiled little girl–supposed to make it through seven hours of slumber with all this bounty waiting to be set free?  Answer... she doesn't.  40 winks... that's about all I got Christmas Eve.

My poor parents... they'd have to put up with me sneaking out of my room around 3am to check out what Santa had brought.  I'd pitter patter out to the living room and take in all the extravaganza with open-mouthed wonder.  Monkey's would be hanging from the chandelier, donkey's would be hidden in the dryer, shiny red bikes would be stoically resting beside the tree, stockings would be overflowing with goodness and then the excitement would take over and spill right out of my body–literally.  Nose bleed.  Every freakin' year I'd whip myself into such frenzy that my nerves would be shot and blood would spurt out my nose with force.  Unstoppable–oh well, this too would pass.  Give me a present to unwrap and surely to god my nose spigot would plug right back up. The good thing about the Christmas frenzy and kids, the cure is swift and predictable–just give them something to unwrap.

It's with awe that I can honestly say that this much excitement is still within me.  Sure, I've had a few bad years where Ebenezer took over, but for the most part I look forward to Christmas.  And believe it or not, I even like the giving.  I'm a tinsel loving, package craving, spoiled rotten only child who loves to give just as much as she likes to receive.  Wow, things could have gotten dirty here.  Giving and receiving?  Naughty and nice?  It's a very tempting offer, but this is a children's story.  Shame on me for even being tempted to digress, but oh how delicious digression can be... tinsel in all the wrong–stop it, stop it, stop it... G-rated... remember, please!  Focus!

The packages, the ribbons, the glitter and the spirit of the season; it's enough to make a grown girl silly with glee.  That's me.  Silly with glee, and visions of sugar plum fairies... and grown men in fuzzy suits.  Fur fetish?  Nah, that's just silly talk, or at least I think it is.

No matter your fetish or holiday tradition, I wish you all the most happy of holiday's.  Fingers crossed that 2010 finds you deep in love and with cheeks that hurt from laughing hard and often.

Nina xo

Nina O'Keefe gives good read. See for yourself:

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