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Christmas Trees · 19 December 2008

My wife, the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, would like to decorate the Christmas tree her own way. To help satisfy this need, she usually has her own little tree that she decorates just so. (But she loaned it out this year.) She says that she can not wait until she gets to decorate the main tree exactly how she wants it. But I think that the way the kids decorate it is just right.


Decorating the tree is part of our annual Christmas preparations. We usually go out to the local tree farm to cut down our tree. This year, before we actually cut down the tree, we had a philosophical conversation with the owner about the trees being a crop. Just like corn or cabbages. The trees are grown to be cut down. But instead of eating them, we set them up in our living rooms as Christmas trees. Fortunately, the mental exercise did not dampen the spirit of hunting for that perfect tree.


When we found the tree, it was not perfect. At least not for everybody. Thing 2 was set on one that was quite a bit too big for our house. Thing 1 was willing to compromise and look around for the right one. Thing 3 however, just wanted to cut one down. I think that the tree could have been the ugliest one on the farm and he would have sawed away happily.


Contrary to the farm’s rules about using the saws, kids from more than just our family helped cut down trees. I saw more kids sawing than adults. In our family, I just started the cut, then took pictures of the kids sawing, and finally, held the tree when the trunk was almost sawn through. I took a bunch of pictures and hoped that the tradition of hunting and harvesting a Christmas tree would be remembered by all of my children.


After the tree was finally downed, the boys took their trophy back to be displayed in the living room and decorated. Even after the mundane tasks of getting back to the car, paying for the tree and the experience, and driving home, the thrill of the hunt and the exhilaration of the kill were still palpable. Everybody dove into decorating with gusto.


The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi usually sets out the ornaments with care and lets the kids put them up. But this year, she threw caution to the wind and joined in the fun of putting her favorite ornaments on the tree. As usual, I just put a few decorations on the tree and then sat back and watched. I took pictures of everybody’s faces as they placed the ornaments on the tree in just the right places and in the perfect orientations. As always, the joy was a wonder to behold.


I do not really understand the thought that the ornaments need to be placed in an orderly fashion about the tree like the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi thinks. I love to see where the kids place things. Thing 1 kept all the band members together and you can almost hear the Christmas carols coming from their trombones, trumpets, and other instruments. He also made sure that a plane was near the top of the tree and that there were ornaments in the high branches. Thing 3 put his special train ornaments in a row as he always does. He also put 8 balls on a couple branches in a tight clump. He made sure that every branch between his waist and eye level were full of ornaments. Thing 2 was the most like his mother. He spread out his special ornaments and made sure that all the ornaments he placed were in the full range of his reach. He even put some low where the dog could see even if she did not appreciate it.


The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi loves the way the tree turns out every year as much as, if not more than, I do. She loves that there are clumps of ornaments in certain places and that the band and train stay together. She loves that look in the boys’ eyes when they are placing those special ornaments. She loves that we have this wonderful Christmas tradition. But I think that next year she will think twice about loaning out her little tree that she decorates just so.

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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