Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How Lovely Are Thy Branches

This morning I was cleaning out my soccer bag, and along with a cup and a half of tiny black rubber turf bits and a stinky sock, I found my mouth guard. I don’t wear a mouth guard to play soccer -- I need to leave my mouth free for all the trash talking – so this must have been in there from the few slo-pitch games I played last summer. The mouth guard was not in its case. Naturally, I thought of Christmas.

The year after I finished university, when I was waitressing and renting a house in Victoria with my friends Richard and Ted, we decided to pitch in together and get a tree. Of course, being young and without full time jobs, we quickly discovered that our budget was tapped out after buying the tree itself and two strings of lights. It smelled great, but looked sad.

Richard went to his room, saying “We must have some stuff we could put on the tree to decorate it.....” and Ted went off downstairs to see what he could find too. We did pretty well, actually. Did you know that a Labbatt’s keychain, the kind you get given free in a bar, can look just like a Christmas ornament? My old dangly earrings that had lost their partners were also good because they were sparkly. Fairly soon though, we ran out of festive stuff like this and basically decided that anything hand sized or smaller was good enough to be an ornament – a pencil sharpener, a potato peeler, beer bottle caps, the can opener. And yes, Richard’s old football mouth guard.

When you stood back a bit, the tree looked awesome. Our other equally broke and young friends would come over and freak out – “You guys got a tree?!” and then say “It’s so pretty!” and then, in a different tone, “Wait, is that someone’s mouth guard?” On the top, instead of an angel, we hung Ted’s Doonsbury Uncle Duke action figure, the one based on Hunter S. Thompson, who has a cigarette dangling from his lips and a machine gun in his hand. I’m pretty sure we’re all going to hell.

So, back to modern day: I notice in all the store flyers that tree ornaments are sold in themed groupings now – the country-style quilted ones are called ‘Homespun’ and the elegant metallic ones are called ‘Prestige’. Our tree has never had a theme. I’m thinking of scooping up these black rubber turf bits and gluing them into my mouth guard to make an ornament. If you squint, it kinda looks like caviar in a unique, u-shaped crystal bowl. I’ll hang it on the tree with all the other homemade ornaments we have, the ones the kids made out of spray painted macaroni. Our theme can be ‘Reminisce’.

The can opener is staying in the kitchen though. It would be a pain to have to go into the living room every time I had to open cat food.

This is how I spent my evening...crafting this for your viewing pleasure.


1 comment:

  1. Just keep that thing away from your mouth!