Monday, December 15, 2008
Alternatively, I suppose I could have entitled this "A Psychotic Christmas", since there's no rational way to explain this.
On Saturday, I put up our Christmas decorations. MY WIFE works on Saturday, and I usually spend the day watching college football (or baseball, depending upon the season.) Well, there is always at least one weekend during December when there is no major college football on the tube. I usually take that confluence of events (WIFE working, no football) to put up the Christmas trees.
Yes, plural. Trees.
MY WIFE has worked at Talbots, a somewhat high-end clothing store, for years now. One Christmas season, they had a window decoration that included multiple artificial Christmas trees. After the season was over, they were going to chuck the trees. MY WIFE asked if she could have them instead. Having no reason to say no, they said yes. And we ended up with 5 Christmas trees of various sizes. The smallest comes up to my knee. The largest is about six feet.
The original plan was to perhaps use ONE of the trees. We'd choose the size depending upon our financial situation and living arrangements, etc., but ever since we acquired them, we've put all 5 of them in the living room just about every year. And I've decorated them all.
From the example of the trees, you can see that we like to go way overboard with some things. Another example is, of course, the bears.
We started out with four bears I had from my childhood. They had been in a closet for years and were very happy to get out. The little bear in the front wearing the green and red sweater (Ditka) was acquired at an office supplies trade show while I was still in that business. We added a couple of cows when we received them as a gift from a friend. They are the blatant front-runners holding the Celtics banner. Being cows, they had been Chicago Bulls fans before the recent success of Paul Pierce and company. Another bear came from a younger relative who thought he had outgrown such things (which is obviously untrue if you use us as a guide to maturity.) He's the one wearing the glasses. His name is Flaubert, and he was the ring bear at our wedding. From there it just blossomed into full-blown plushophilia.
I haven't done a count recently, but my best estimate is that we have some 60+ teddies; that is, if one is allowed to count cows and sheep and cats amongst the total. If strictly limiting this to bears, it still comes to about 50. As you can see, I could only squeeze some 30 into the photo.
Someday (which you should dread) I will tell you the stories behind each and every one of them.
And, if any of you have any bright ideas about getting us another teddy for Christmas, don't you dare! They're almost crowding us out of the house as it is now. If you have already bought one for us, however, we'll take it. We have never turned away a homeless teddy (which is, of course, the problem.)
And that's it for today. What with the decorating, and a lovely Christmas party at my cousin's place on Sunday, there wasn't a whole lot of time for writing. That's why you got a picture of stuffed bears today.
Soon, with more better stuff.
(ERRATUM: MY WIFE says that she may or may not work at Talbots. She did not, however, obtain the aforementioned trees from them. They came from the gift shop of an undisclosed art museum where she did work at the time, and she paid a nominal fee for them.)
(In other words, I didn't do my fact checking. This is the reason I got a B- in my journalism classes in high school.)