some things are clearly for display purposes only. turns out that, after decades of bin-living following decades of good service on our growing-up house on long island preceded by years of i-have-no-idea, these lights are not meant for real use anymore. they lit the wrought iron porch rail for four nights…happily multi-coloring the front of our house in this early part of the season.
when i stepped outside to plug them in on monday…i found that, in its last unplugging, the plug had disassembled itself and, shy of replacing the plug and then wondering what other electrical hazard might be lurking, it would be best to gently unwind and retire the lights. it is not likely, however, that i will throw them away. instead, they will go in the bottom bin with the other strands and the mercury glass ornaments.
one of these years all those baubles will come out and we will have a retro tree, full of shiny brites and vintage balls and bells and glittery ornaments from the mid-1900s, which sounds like forever ago. perhaps another tree will stand proudly with homemade ornaments and wooden stars and collectible hallmarks – late 1900s/early 2000s. strings of popcorn and cranberries and lights. our own christmas house. this year, though, we’ll keep it simple.
we haven’t decided on THE tree yet. though we have white branches wound with (white) lights and many small green and silver trees about our home, the one deemed worthy of presents beneath it has not yet been chosen. we hesitate to go to the tree lot, though i’m not exactly sure why. buying a tree at costco or menards doesn’t really have any kind of charm. we could go to a tree farm; we have done this before and sought out the strangest looking tree, trying to take home the small pine that isn’t likely to be loved. we could go to a state forest and cut one down for a mere $5, which sounds like an adventure and could be a consideration if indeed they are trying to pare down the forest for good and earth-friendly reasons. there is a large limb trimmed by the utilities guys from our big old tree out front; we saved it. if it isn’t too big we could wrap that in lights and honor its former place in our front yard. or we could purchase a live tree…i’ve done a little research on this. buying a sweet norway spruce is a grand idea when it’s a cute five feet tall. but they grow 2-4 feet a year on average and extend to 40 to 60 feet tall, a challenge for a city lot that already has trees. even writing this i am drumming my fingers, pondering. usually the answer makes itself known to us, somehow. i guess we’ll see.
in the meanwhile we’ll keep adding little by little … a few pinecones here, a few silver balls there. our display is simple, full of stories and heart, balsam and cypress-pine candles. as i look at social media and the posting of decorations and trees and lights, i can see that those – stories and heart – are the common denominators.