Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Round and round the Christmas Tree
It's Christmas Eve back home in Australia, so the koala on our tree is going to demand a beer and some cold chicken any minute now.
This one was never intended to be a Christmas decoration. Five years ago a drunken sailor in New Orleans heard my accent, and he grandly and determinedly presented me with the koala. He insisted I keep it. Because every Australian needs another clip-on koala...
...but I've become quite attached to him in my homesick times and he clings so neatly to the tree. Berry loves to put him on a different branch whenever she walks by.
I'm very fond of our tree and its eclectic (ok, odd) mix of ornaments. Apart from the koala, some of the highlights are the inscribed 1980 Christmas ball ("I was about to chuck this out," Nathan said, "but then I saw 1980 and I thought whoa, that's old.")
We have the mouse painted on a glass triangle with 'Nathan 1979' gold-penned on the bottom, and Berry's Hello Kitty snow-globe ornament is a new addition this year.
Then there's Santa painted on a crab shell, from Louisiana.
Below we have the photo-frame ornament with the picture of Berry in Germany when she was one year old, rugged up in her baby polar bear jacket (shame you can't see the ears).
And my husband's in the gallery of photo ornaments too – at 11 years old. Vintage, baby.
The old ceramic pony in the glass bell is just one of scores of other ...interesting... ornaments we have around here. Don't even get me started on Nathan's 1980s shrinky-dink holly wreath or his 1970s paper-and-wool constructions.
But the weirdest decoration of all – the crowning glory of all that is bizarre and inappropriate in ornament-world – has to take a long break from Christmas appearances. That's right, Berry is still frightened of our tree-topper, the inherited Feral Rabbit-Angel.
Weird, pasty little human hands. Leering hare face. In an angel costume. She's right to be scared, isn't she. She caught one glimpse of his awful little head poking out of the Christmas box and started a rapid-fire, "No scary reindeer, mommy! No scary reindeer!"
So Feral Rabbit-Angel is banished to a box in the garage until next year, or the year after, or the year after that, or whenever he can learn to STOP TERRIFYING THE CHILDREN, ALREADY.
Okay now. That's better.