Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Festivus!

Being a marginally practicing Jew married to a Catholic-though-lapsed and having a child -- a Cachew, as she's been called -- means we celebrate everything.

And I, as drecorator in chief of this family [how did this happen--when I am so very mild mannered, so unassuming?]  am no stranger to non-traditional holiday trees, and firmly believe that as long as you're DOING IT it should be as over-the-top as possible.

No skimpy, weepy Charlie Brown sad little lost tree in the forest, for us. Feh.

Of course this has left me regretting, as usual, that  I was not born the sort of  gay man (probably not a Marine), for whom over the top is an everyday affair.

Though I can achieve much (with inspiration from Architectural Digest and Veranda--and more recently House Beautiful, which seems to have stopped doing dreadful things with bed sheets), I have been left drained and limp from the effort.

But, fabulous news! Last year I realized I had achieved a child rearing goal and, between us, baby girl and I can create a helluva fine gay tree.

Flanking the gilded porcelain jester (our traditional topper) were glittering branches, coiled and outstretched, tickling the ceiling and reaching for the walls.  Below this, the tree was divided into thirds: sky, earth, and ocean. So doves and ducks and peacocks and such occupied the top branches, Santa and glossy reindeer with marabou ruffs were at center, and  at bottom were rainbows of fish and mermaids bobbling on bubbles. 

Stringing it together was a fantastic assortment of lights -- large and small globes and tiny candle lights, some frosted, some purple, some clear, and more glittering branches and ropes and traditional shiny glass balls popped in to refract the glow. 

It was, I say with modest shuffle, sensational. 

And so, I was particularly appreciative of uber window-dresser Simon Doonan's decorating suggestions  in today's Slate.

As a for instance, and (naturally) the suggestion I like best, Doonan says: "... Dedicate your tree d├ęcor to an inspirational figure in your life. Last year, my pal Alexandra Morrill paid tribute to her stylish mother Cecile by adorning her three-foot tree with her massive stash of her mom's costume jewelry."

Do we not LOVE this for the ornament deprived?  It took forever to amass our collection (The mermaids and fish were Hanukkah gifts over the years, presented one night at a time) and the stop-gaps included chandelier crystals, explosions of baby's breath, and fresh flowers stuck in those little plastic water vials (so handy are these!).     

What's more, Doonan has a contest!

"Send pics of your creative efforts to by Dec. 16 and we will post a Slate holiday hall of fame. The creator of the most luscious tree will receive a no-expenses-paid invite to next year's Slate holiday party in New York City. Who knows? Maybe you are an unsung talent waiting to be discovered! Maybe you have what it takes to become the next First Elf!"


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