Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not My Tree

As I mentioned, David and I have had a minor ongoing debate about Christmas tree lights for a couple of weeks. I had actually bought a set of white lights and had finally coaxed him to let me use them (albeit begrudgingly), or so I thought.

But he really wasn't happy, and I began to feel like a total meanie for making him go along with my (gorgeous, tasteful, elegant) decorating scheme. He seems to feel that since he grew up with coloured lights (as did I), they are the only proper lights for a Christmas tree. In fact, he claims that he "hates" white lights and "always has". Well, I love white lights and "always have" , but I guess that is irrelevant since he has voiced his decorating opinion.

You see, I do most of the decorating and David never complains, so when he finally has an opinion, I am supposed to listen. But really, why does he have more right than me to an opinion? And why does he only seem to have one when it is different from mine?

Anyway, David does hate pretension and being fancy-pants and I understand that. He seems to have developed a long-standing association of white lights with arrogant snooty types. I don't understand the venom, I really don't, but I think David feels like he is cheating on his family values if he does something that might be perceived as pretentious. And I think there is a little bit of "this is how my mother did it" so it must be right.

I was conflicted because I've been buying these lovely, coherent white and green and silver things for around the house and would have liked these colours to be dominant on the tree (along with our small and disparate collection of ornaments - in all colours, red and gold included!). I had not voiced that to David, and had only talked about the white lights, which I thought would soften all the visual noise and help bring all the weird bits together.

Well, this all changed when David came home the other night with some Christmas balls he bought at his favorite discount store. They are ORANGE and BLUE!
They are very pretty, happy Christmas balls and as soon as I saw them, my heart melted. Orange and blue would not have been my first choice, considering my issues with colours other than green and white and silver (an idea hatched because of those damned pink rugs and apple green walls of mine!!)....

So at that moment, I decided to throw in the towel. His little ornaments were pretty and kitschy and happy. And I am too uptight. That Hermes orange was a wonderful cheery colour. So, to heck with it! Let's have a tree with multi-coloured balls and weird ornaments and blue and orange balls and coloured lights and it will look just like every other Canadian non-fancy-pants household!

In a way, I'm relieved because now we can just hang up whatever ornaments we feel like - Snoopy, Star Wars, mice in baskets, cats on skates. And we can use those lovely vintage ornaments we bought a while ago...just like these ones (but with a Christmas theme).

Photo courtesy of Room Service Home

Maybe eventually, after 20 years of marriage, we will figure out when to take a stand and when to not bother. I still want my dream tree. But I want more for him to be happy.


  1. I believe I detect a whiff of trouble here. This isn't good advice so don't follow it, but if I were you, I'd tell him to stuff it, but then I may be thinking too much about turkeys. Honestly, men who believe that they have an opinion at all about household decorating...ackkkkk! It's time to get Melissa over here to referee.

  2. for a while (growing up), my family alternated one year decorating colors (blue and silver, or white lights, you know) and then the next year colored lights and all the kitsch. it's something to consider. :)

    also, i tagged you!

  3. Good for you! I was secretly hoping you'd give in, as I am also a victim of guilt...as I've said before, I wanted a perfect tree that matches the soft hues of my living room- one that reflects my taste and style and doesn't leave anyone scratching their head at the decorative disconnect that a hodge-podge tree would bring. However, the kidlets and hubby do deserve to have their say, and deep down, I do feel it's right to showcase all our treasured, mismatched ornaments that have meaning and a little story behind them. Still, I envy those with their perfect trees, perfectly complementing their perfect rooms. SO, I am happy to have a partner... someone who half-heartedly fought the battle and lost/won like me. I, too, hate pretension, and now hopefully can't be accused of it because I have a kitschy tree that is right where it should be...and not stuck in a basement family room!

    We are good women, are we!!

  4. Hooray, Terri! I am speechless. That is a first (me being speechless)! LOL! This is the first secret about men, they do have opinions on decorating. They like to be considered in what goes into their home. They just don't always voice their opinion. And that is because they love us and most of it doesn't matter to them. But if something DOES matter, and they say something, we should be all ears! And you did the right thing by looking at things through his eyes, and together you will form a style that is neither you nor him alone, but you TOGETHER. If you can do that with everything in life, bend and flow as the needs of the other unfolds and is revealed, and come together as a team as much as possible, you will have many more wonderful kitchy vintage colorful happy Christmases together. And really that is all that matters.

    You made me smile today!

    Happy Thanksgiving from the States, and a merry Christmas ahead! Onward and upwards! Now if I could only figure out how to get that giraffe out of my hallway and the dead rodent smell from the air... You think you've got troubles! LOL!

  5. Why not 2 trees? The main one and a smaller one to showcase your special ornaments? Although I loved themed xmases...I also love the splash of colour with a mish-mash. When living in Germany my hubby and I decorated a tree with white lights and pink and burgundy balls. It was beautiful. Now, with kids, there is everything on the tree and I love it even more - it represents the family and ornaments remind me of certain years. so.... 2 trees might be the answer if you find you just aren't quite satisfied with the one colourful one!

  6. That was such a great post. And I can't articulate it anymore than that. It was just perfect. :) I hope you are well!

  7. Hi Terri,

    Just popping in really quickly, the color of the middle yarn is teal yes.

    Racheal x

  8. I see that cooler heads prevail. :>

    Thank goodness for some balance!

  9. Well, look at you getting all fancy pants on us!! I LOVE the photos in your sidebar!! It is so nice to see more photos of you and your house! Oh, and that man of yours is so cute he deserves some colored lights...just look at him!!

    You are so pretty! I love your hair...you look Scandinavian!
    You two will make beautiful babies someday!!


  10. Ohhhhh, him! Well, I definitely would NOT tell him to stuff it. LOL! I love all your sidebar pictures. I am thinking that I could add a lot more to my sidebar since there's all that white space. Hope that you are enjoying a relaxing weekend...

  11. Terri, I'm proud of you! I followed you here from Vee. After 30 years of marriage I KNOW you did the right thing! In 10 years, in 20 years, in 30 years - what will it matter if you have a multi-colored tree? Just be happy and let him be happy and don't sweat the small stuff! This is a lesson I've had to learn the hard way, and believe me, it's been worth it. It makes me happy if my husband is happy, and anytime he does make a suggestion or a strong stand on something, I always tried to accomodate him! It always works best that way. And if I don't buck him on certain things, he usually, I'd say 95% of the time, comes back and agrees with me or thinks about it and changes his mind. Just do it sweetly, and you will be glad you did! Best wishes for a great Christmas! Vickie (you didn't know you were going to get so much marriage advice from blog friends, did you!)