Back in the day, my family always mowed down our Christmas tree smack dab between Thanksgiving and Christmas—and since that happened to be my birthday, I got to pick the victim.
My sacrilegious childhood brain concluded that Jesus and Shannon were the reason for the season. But it wasn’t all fruitcake and ice cream—my brother’s birthday was two days before mine, so the love (i.e. our gift pile) was spread even thinner that it would be for other December babies. And a snowbound, combined party for a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl almost always ends in bloodshed and gastroenteritis. After entering elementary school, it didn’t take long for me to understand the shaft I was given, and deeply resent my other brother, that July-born bastard.
Now that I’m old, I have nothing but love for my holibirthday: it comes with a built-in party season! And I still have a thing for Christmas trees. But as a long-time apartment dweller with a healthy fear of fire, I keep it compact, fake and frugal. Those city lot trees aren’t cheap, but those Dollar Tree trees sure are.
Over the years, I've collected quite a few charms and bobbles that work well on tabletop trees. I've also filled in the gaps with plenty of homemade ones. Normal sized ornaments seem freakishly large now. Maybe in 20 years, my fully-decorated tree will fit in the palm of an undersized toddler's hand. Gotta dream big!