Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree

by Lorin Michel Wednesday, December 14, 2016 9:17 PM

Back in 2001 or 2002, or maybe it was 2003, Kevin joined together with Roy and Bobbi, as well as another marketing person, and they rented space in Chatsworth. They took an old warehouse office and transformed it into something extraordinary. It had a lovely reception area, an office, and a conference room. The back was one big empty space that quickly went from being wall-less to having walls, which Kevin constructed and the rest of us painted. The walls served to create individual open offices, as the ceilings were high and none had any doors. We built a kitchen, bought, stained and hung cabinets. We got a refrigerator and a microwave. Roy had the far back of the space which he took over with his artwork; Bobbi had a space near his. Across from them was another open area where the printer and fax were. There was also a big table used for all manner of art, graphics, assembly, etc. Kevin’s office was next to Bobbi’s. It was quite the set up.

That year, whatever it was, we had an office warming/Christmas party. For the front window, in the reception area, I found an old aluminum tree, from the 60s, on eBay. We put purple lights one it and hung antique ornaments. It was gloriously retro, ought-chic. It was the only time we used the tree, if I remember correctly. I don’t even know what happened to it. Maybe Bobbi still has it. I think maybe one year they put it up in their house, but I could be misremembering. I think maybe there’s a photo of Bobbi, Kae and I in front of the tree. 

Two weeks ago, I put up our tree. It’s 13 feet tall, artificial. It’s gorgeous. I strung it with mostly white lights and sprinkled in two or maybe it was three strands of multi-colored lights. I also strung our grape clusters, which glow red because they’re red grapes because we’re red wine drinkers. We don’t have any ornaments on it because I just haven’t gotten around to it. But it’s up and it’s beautiful. You can see it from down below and it looks very festive.

I also put out my big Santa, a guy my mom and sister got me years ago. He was originally part of a display in some store somewhere but Mom and Khris managed to get the store owner to sell and sent him to me. I think that’s what happened but I could be misremembering. He’s standing in the corner of the foyer, next to the window next to the door. He’s a good greeter. 

On the hearth, I have the Karen Didion wine Santa that Kevin got me years ago. He’s another favorite. Gorgeous in his tapestry coat, carrying grapes and wine bottles and signs. Both of these Santas have some girth to them; they add some substance to the room, as does the tree. They are currently my only decorations. But they’re Christmasy and pretty and make me feel a bit more festive. 

The song Blue Christmas was originally sung by Elvis Presley. I prefer the Celine Dion version mostly because I was never a huge Elvis fan. The lyrics sing, in part: “Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree.” 

I have that. It’s not the same as decorations of purple on an aluminum Christmas tree but it very pretty, very festive. I’m feeling the spirit surround me.

At least until I unplug the lights and go to bed.

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live out loud

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