You know, there are some people out there with really nice Christmas trees.  For one thing, they use a real tree every year.  For another thing they have only “nice” ornaments on their nice, real tree.  When I was growing up I was a little bit jealous of folks who had those shiny ball ornaments on their trees.  I thought those were beautiful.  We didn’t have any of those.  We just had random ornaments.  I liked our random ornaments, but I thought we could use a few nice shiny ball ornaments, too.

As an adult, of course, I realize that the reason we never had any of those nice shiny ball ornaments is that those nice shiny ball ornaments are made out of glass or some other equally breakable item, and it would have been stupid of my parents to put any of those on our tree.  I did not have to learn this lesson the hard way.  By the time I was putting up my own Christmas tree, I had lost all such delusions of grandeur.

My parents did always use real trees, up until we got to be teenagers.  I guess maybe they got too old and tired to go out and buy them.  (Ha ha–they were, like, my age.  So, yeah, that’s how I know.)  Sugar Daddy’s mother never used real trees, and if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know exactly why.  (BECAUSE REAL TREES CATCH ON FIRE AND THEN CHRISTMAS IS RUINED.)  So SD and I have never used a real tree–partly because SD has inherited his mother’s paranoia about them, and partly because I am too lazy to go out and look for a real tree and also too lazy to clean up after it.  We are all about the fake trees.  We bought the first one for, like, fourteen bucks at the Target and it lasted us at least eight years, I think.  Is that right?  It lasted a long time.  We could have made it last longer, but we woke up one day after Christmas and were feeling all snooty and bargain-hunty and decided to get a nicer fake tree that would last us even longer.  I think this is our third Christmas with said tree.

We are also all about the random ornaments, some of which are nice, and others of which are just random.  I know some people have separate trees that they put in some back room to hold all the crazy ornaments that their kids make in school or their eccentric relatives give them.  Those people are sissies.  There is no ornament segregation in the Madhousehold!  All ornaments are equal and each deserves a spot on the tree, provided it is reasonably sturdy and won’t fall apart if one of our kids “looks” at it funny.

A lot of our ornaments come from my mother-in-law.  She has given us many nice ones over the years, such as these.

Nothing says class like the Giraffe.

Classic Peanuts.  CLASSIC.  Also CLASS-ic.

My sister made me this ornament a few years ago.  Is it not adorable?

I have many Peanuts ornaments, most of them Snoopy.  My mother-in-law was delighted to learn that I was so fond of Snoopy because it meant she could buy me lots of Peanuts and Snoopy ornaments.  She even gave me some of her old ones.  Here is a vintage 1978 Snoopy ornament that I treasure.

We have about a hundred of those Snoopy ornaments that come with the Whitman sampler boxes.  When I say “about a hundred,” I don’t mean literally a hundred.  I mean more like seventy-five.

This is actually one of Snoopy waiting by the mailbox, but as you can see here, from the back it looks like Snoopy on the cross.  It’s kind of creepy.

Here is a bell SD made out of styrofoam and glitter when he was in kindergarten or something.

Here is a snowman grilling burgers.  My MIL gave this to SD last year because he’d recently gotten super-into grilling stuff.  I think it says “Chillin’ and Grillin'” somewhere on it.

My MIL also likes to give the kids ornaments of stuff they are into.  Here are Princess Zurg’s new Corpse Bride ornaments.

This is a Jonas Bros. ornament that my MIL gave SD as a joke.  Yes, it does play music!  Or rather, it plays the Jonas Bros.

These are some festive pickles made out of felt and pipe cleaners.  I think a girl SD knew in high school made them for him, but I forget why.  Actually, I think he may have forgotten why because it isn’t too likely I would have.

GO DUCKS!  And go Peanuts Nativity.  Snoopy as Shepherd.  Nice.

Girlfriend’s Thomas the Tank Engine ornament.

Mister Bubby’s Harry Potter ornament.  It has Professor McGonagall saying “Sherbet Lemon.”

We have a whole set of A Charlie Brown Christmas ornaments, including Schroeder’s piano, but oddly enough, not including Schroeder.  It does include Franklin, who is not even in the show, but he’s on our tree.  (Shrug.)  This, of course, is Pig Pen.  I like him because his dust cloud makes him look a little like an angel in this context.

My dad and his wife got this in Mexico, I think.  It’s carved out of a gourd.  I know it’s blurry, but that’s the nativity inside.

SD used to have a Mickey Mouse-playing-the-trumpet ornament because SD is a trumpet player.  But last year the ornament broke and this year

IT’S JUST MICKEY’S DISEMBODIED HEAD!

Here is one of the first ornaments my MIL gave us.  It says “First Christmas Together” and it’s dated 1997.

And from that same year, “Parents-to-Be.”

And in 1998…”Baby’s 1st Christmas”!  *Sigh*

Yes, Virginia, that is a Big Bird Shrinky Dink ornament.  It’s mine from 1977.

I’m surprised that we only have one reindeer-out-of-clothespins ornament.  I forget whose this is.  I think it’s SD’s.

This is an ornament PZ made in pre-school.  It is a frozen juice container cap with toy advertisements glued on it.  This was when she was really into horses.

Flip side!

But this is the cherished ornament she made at home that same year.  It is Bowser from the Super Mario game.  PZ was oddly attracted to Bowser in those days.  (Media:  ball-point on typing paper.  I was especially impressed with the hanger, a triumph of 4-year-old engineering.)

Elvis’s Very Hungry Caterpillar ornament.

My grandmother gave me this ornament.  I always liked to put it in front of a light to make it all sparkly.

Question:  Why is Santa riding an elephant?  Answer:  Because it’s awesome!

Here’s Snoopy driving a Woodstock-team sleigh.  If you plug it into your string of lights, the sleigh will move, but because we have the twinkly lights, the sleigh just stops and starts, which is aesthetically frustrating, so we just keep him unplugged.

I want to say my sister made this one, too, and of course I’d be right because I know ONE of my sisters made it, but whether it was this sister, or my unblogged sister, I can’t remember.  One of them will set me straight and reprimand me for my faulty memory.  (Hopefully it was not made by the other blogged sister, who I didn’t even mention because I’m pretty sure she didn’t make it and I would hate to be so wrong.  But maybe she can set me straight, since I think all the non-angel-ornament-making sisters got one of these that year.)  Isn’t she cute?

My MIL gave us this in commemoration of us buying our house.

(Someone needs a manicure!)

I think that somewhere on this tree there is a fire engine ornament to commemorate our house fire, but I couldn’t find it.

My other grandmother (the one who’s still alive) made four or five of these ornaments with the evil little gnomes inside.  I think she was going to throw them out, but Mister Bubby liked them, so they’re ours now.  AND ALL ORNAMENTS BELONG ON THE TREE.  This is America, people.

This ornament was made by the four-year-old daughter of some friends of ours we’re no longer in touch with.  It’s a candy cane that hangs upside down.

This ornament was given to Mister Bubby to commemorate his portrayal of one of the Wise Men in his preschool Nativity Play.

I’m sad that this picture didn’t turn out better, but those with eyes to see will recognize it as the scene in Star Wars where Obi-Wan gives Luke his father’s lightsaber (whilst C3P0 looks on).  I think the sound effect is “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”  I think it might light up, too.  When the batteries aren’t dead, obviously.

I am doubly sad that I couldn’t find Mister Bubby’s other Star Wars ornament, which is young Obi-Wan fighting Anakin Skywalker.  Sound:  “You were the chosen one!  You were supposed to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness!”

We’ve never had a Christmas tree topper that wasn’t made out of paper.  Mister Bubby made this star for us this year.

Merry Christmas, gentle readers.  For interested parties, my Mormony Christmas post is now up at By Common Consent.  For those of you who don’t celebrate the Christmas, happy rest-of-December.  I may not blog again until the new year.  Unless, of course, something glorious and/or infuriating and/or bizarre happens that simply demands that I publish my thoughts immediately on the interwebs.  (It isn’t likely, so don’t hold your breath; I’m just leaving myself some wiggle room, just in case.)  Meanwhile, I am off to clean my house in anticipation of the Christmas spirit throwing up all over it on Friday.  My friends, adieu.

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