The amount of Christmas stuff we used to have was staggering.
Enough lights to decorate the frontage of our 175 ft long Harlincin Ct. house, shrubs, trees, and mailbox. Additional decorations included garlands and ribbons.
That was just outside . . . inside we had more lights, a big-ass tree (used to be real trees every year, but then we sprung for a very nice artificial tree that took a little over an hour to put together, and a number of hours to decorate).
Then there were the decoration that sat on floors, counters, and pretty much any flat area that was to be found.
We liked decorating, and we also liked having people over (some years our company’s x-mas parties were held at our house).
Yes, we are what the religious folks call ‘heathens’. We don’t believe in any of the malarkey associated with the festivities.
For us it was more about the colors, flashing lights, the yearly ritual of setting things up, and taking them down after the New Year. And it was about people getting together for a good time. Some did ‘believe’, some did not, but that was not the point of getting together.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the beginning of the change into our current lack of decorations. A big change occurred when we moved from Michigan to Colorado. For one, none of our friends came with us.
For another, as we got older, the decorating part became a bother, and superfluous to the feelings associated with the season.
The first few years in Colorado we adorned the house as we always did. Then we stopped the outside stuff, and just did the inside. And finally, a few years ago, we stopped doing much inside as well.
Also a few years ago, we donated a bunch of our christmas decorations, gave some away at work, gave some of the nicer ornaments to friends and relatives, and all we have now left are a few boxes.
Boxes that would have remained unopened were it not for my desire to do this post. All of the photos were shot today, while Melisa prepared our meal.
By the way, the greenery in the photos is real. An honest to goodness live tree that lives in our house year-round. About three feet tall, its branches are too weak to actually hold any but the lightest ornaments.
I’m gonna spoil the effect for my readers . . . the ornaments are not actually hanging from the tree. They are hanging from my tripod. But, who cares, right?
For some it’s still a religious celebration, and my feeling is “good for them.”
For me it remains an excuse to reach out to people I might not often hear from other than during this time of year. It’s an excuse to say “hello” both to people who are and were part of our life.
Some now live literally thousands of miles away, and some I have never met, and are scattered around the globe.
The world has changed, and the way we live our lives has changed. And my view of the holiday has changed. I can marvel at the amazing store displays, but be cynical about their motives. We can enjoy the sounds, smells, and sights, but we’ve lost the desire to participate in the trappings.
The feeling is all that remains. The wanting to wish others happiness, good fortune, and a life they can enjoy.
The reaching out not as an obligation, as something expected, but out of a genuine desire to let others know they are remembered. Ironically, to do so I brought out some of the trappings we could not be bothered to display.
But that too is a part of it. These photos are an expression not of what I think of christmas, not a message regarding some belief or other, but an expression of who I am.
A photographer who likes to write. These remaining ornaments, not even the best we had, helped me do that. It’s not what they signify; it’s that I got to set things up, snap some photos, process them, and share that part of me with others.
And right now I’m a guy who wants to share my wish that my reader’s lives be as fulfilling and free from hardship as possible.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.