Monday, December 25, 2006


Everyone has excentricities. Don't they? I've got a few. Well, more than a few. And I'm oddly passionate about all of them. One of them came up a few days ago when a friend was visiting the house. "You forgot to put tinsel on the tree," he said.

"We don't put tinsel on the tree," I answered catching Joe out of the corner of my eye frantically signalling our friend to just let it go. He did, but I didn't.

"I don't like tinsel," I said, waiting to be asked. I hate it when people know me well enough to not play into my little games and ploys. The conversation was quickly shifted. I was left with a tirade on the tip of my tongue.

Through the evening I brought the conversation back to the tree. Pointing out several ornaments that we'd purchased under cool or unusual circumstances. For many years Joe and I only bought ornaments when on the road - they had to come from somewhere else. As a result we have an eclectric tree whose beauty is in it's unpredictableness. No two ornaments are alike.

No one bit. I tried a little harder. After talking about the first one we'd bought together on the road, in Boston, I added, "Yep it's sure good that we don't have tinsel." My eyes strayed to see if anyone was going to ask - eyes studiously avoided mine. So,I didn't get a chance to explain why I don't like tinsel. This will explain why I'm here writing this blog, I'm hoping that someone out in blog-land is wondering, this Christmas day: "Just why doesn't Dave like tinsel?"


I've always thought, since a wee lad, that tinsel was unneccessary glitter. That it was showy, without substance, caught light but had none of it's own. That it covered up rather than exposed, that it was like a phony grin - cloying.

I don't like tinsel on anything.

I don't like it on personalities. I've met people who I think may be very very cool down there underneath all that artiface, all that pretense.

I don't like it on attitudes. I've hated those moments when I felt that I sparkled only to find later that it was at the expense of someone else.

I don't like it on belief. To me belief is rock solid not foil shiny, I believe what I believe and I believe it deeply - belief is not for display nor show nor approval.

I don't like it on values. "You've got to walk the talk" is a phrase that I've heard once too often but agree with nonetheless - it is way to easy to talk turkey and eat crow.

And therefore it follows that I don't like it on Christmas trees.

Thanks for asking - all this holding back was giving me a cramp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness you told us why you don't like tinsel. I already knew though; it's because you never saw the very thin, short-spiked string of tinsel that my mum brought out from a cardboard box kept on top of a wardrobe, and which was part of the mysterious transformation of our front room into a place of wonder to my child's eyes, on the Christmas Eves of my childhood. Along with the thin tinsel there were twisted red and green crepe paper streamers that hung in loops from the corners of the room, and balloons too. This stuff all went back into the box every year (except for the balloons :)).

Oh, and I love it on children's heads too, when they are bemused looking angels in Christmas plays!

Merry Christmas!