Sunday, December 14, 2014

All the Trimmings

"Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff 
Like bingle balls, and whofoo fluff 
Trim up the town with goowho gums and bizilbix and wums 
Trim every blessed window and trim every blessed door  
Hang up whoboohoo bricks  
Then run out and get some more!  
Hang pantookas on the ceilings  
Pile pankunas on the floor 
Trim every blessed needle on the blessed Christmas tree 
Christmas comes tomorrow 
Trim you, trim me!"  - from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" by Dr. Seuss 

I got an early Christmas present today from Fenya: a Christmas tie. She wanted me to be able to wear it to work prior to the Christmas break, and my team's Holiday Luncheon is this Thursday, so the timing was impeccable.

I've had a Grinch one for some time now that I am quite fond of, but it has been my go-to for seasonal semi-formality for a while now. I had hinted broadly that I might be interested in doubling the number of festive ties in my wardrobe, but I think Fenya might have gone after this one regardless.

It took me a moment to notice it, but at the bottom of the tie, amongst all the other presents, is a toy Gee Bee Air Racer, probably my favourite civilian aircraft. It's a nifty little bulldog of a thing, built around a powerful engine in order to be competitive in the air races of the 1930s that it was designed specifically for. My sister-in-law is also aware of my love for this airplane, which is why she got me a tree ornament depicting one some years back, and why Fenya felt she absolutely had to get this particular tie for me.

Needless to say, a chance to get another Christmas-themed gift depicting the same obscure aircraft is quite a delightful surprise, and I was tickled pink to get such a thoughtful gift at such an appropriate time.

Our tree is short on style and long on sentiment, like most of the decorative items in our house. Nearly everything on it tells a story or has some significance, and when I was photographing my Gee Bee, I got to thinking about some of them. Audrey has a love of snowflakes that is apparent to just about anyone coming through the front door, and they often stay up even after Christmas. I was intrigued by this cut paper snowflake inside a glass ball at last year's Music & Masterpieces auction, managed to win the bidding unbeknownst to her, and Audrey took to it right away when she unwrapped it on the 25th.

Glory's favourite is this Irish dancer's dress and shoes, which also came from Audrey's sister, Betty. She and her family are coming up for an early Christmas next weekend, and I am looking forward to seeing my nieces and nephew again.

I don't know if this decoration is Fenya's favourite, but she was really happy to see it come out (snicker) this Christmas when the tree was getting decorated. "I get to hang up Gay Santa!" she crowed.

"I don't think it's 'Gay Santa', maybe just 'Pride Santa'," Audrey corrected gently. It's true, we did get the decoration from a vendor at the Pride Festival a couple of years ago, but Fenya snorted in way that said, 'whatever; look at him; he's fabulous,' and now we all refer to him as Gay Santa anyhow.
Funnier still was when I related the story to Rev. James (who happens to be gay), and his jaw completely dropped, and I worried I might have offended him.

"How...I...where did you get a rainbow Santa?" he sputtered. From a tent at the Pride Festival, I told him.

In truth, he was not so much offended as, I don't know, affronted, maybe? "How do I not have one of these?" he protested. "Our tree is nothing but Santas, and we don't have a gay Santa!"


"No, no, it's fine, I'm glad for you, did that one get by me?"

I had to agree, it was mystifying, especially since his husband Glen is just as much of a Christmastian as Audrey is. In the end, it was all I could do to resist asking him if rainbow tinsel might make their tree gayer than ours, but I'm sure it isn't a concern.

Whatever is on your tree, or even if you don't have one, I hope the things around you at this time of year give you pleasant memories, or induce wonderful conversations when others discover them.

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