I posted a picture of my Christmas tree on Facebook last year and one of my library friends asked “Are all your decorations escapees from cartoons?”
I answered yes – but the truth lies somewhere a little wider than cartoons, as most of my Christmas decorations hail, not just from cartoons, but from pop culture. For the record, I count anything that was in print before it was commercialised as a cartoon in the ‘book character’ category.
It started innocently enough, as most things do, in 1999 when I stumbled upon this Winnie-the-Pooh decoration.
Due to the forces of gravity, money flew out of my purse and then the decoration followed me home. This sort of thing happens to me sometimes.
I recall staring at the tree and thinking how cool it would be if all my Christmas decorations were like that. Each year, I decided, I would buy another Hallmark decoration, so that one day they would be the only type of decorations on my tree. And most important of all, I made the rule that if my decorations were to be sourced from pop culture – then there had to be something Christmassy going on (wearing a Santa hat, giving/wrapping a present, anything goes, as long as it had a Christmas connection). Otherwise I’d end up with a bunch of action figures hanging on a tree, and there’s no Christmas spirit in that.
Each year, I’d choose my favourite Hallmark decoration – I learnt early on you have to do this in September or October as soon as the Hallmark decorations are released, because the best decorations are always in short supply.
In 2004, I missed out. But I didn’t miss seeing the picture of what I had missed out on … and
that’s the year I discovered that the Hallmark decorations have a much bigger range than the paltry few that manage to make it here to Australia. And so I added the reindeer Dalmatians to the tree. It might have been my first overseas Christmas Tree purchase, but it wasn’t the last. (I found that the aforementioned forces of gravity are not limited to my purse and can work hand-in-hand with my credit card too.)
The first decoration I received as a present, was in 2005, when Grant added the Tassie Devil to my tree. (It’s a bit hard to tell in the photo, but he is wearing a Santa hat.)
I thought Grant understood the Christmas Tree Rules. But in 2006 he went Secret Santa shopping – he decided on a skiing moose decoration for his recipient – that wasn’t the rule breaching problem. The problem was, he liked the moose so much that he brought one for our tree too. I love my husband, so the skiing moose joined the tree. However, the moose has always been delegated a special place at the rear of the tree where no one can see him. This year he happens to be joined by Santa climbing the Eiffel Tower. I frowned when I pulled that one out of the decoration box this year, and promptly put it back. With a deadpan face, my husband said, “But what if I brought you that when we are in Paris?” I must have looked crestfallen because he laughed and added that it really it looked more like the crap that I would buy. None-the-less the odd Santa climbing the Eiffel Tower joined the moose at the back. I figure perhaps the moose might not get so lonely this year.
Since the year of the skiing moose rule breaking breach, Grant has redeemed himself many times over. In 2007, he brought two decorations back from Disneyland and each Christmas since I’ve received a decoration as an early Christmas present.
I brought the Red M&M as present for Grant but then became an Indian giver when I hijacked it back after it became apparent that he didn’t appreciate it in quite the same way I do.
For a few years, I had a star at the top of the tree, then a red bow. But now, to my great delight I have a Weeping Angel.
And this year I discovered that Grolier not only have a range of pop culture decorations, but they also have a back catalogue!! (Oh, happy-forces-of-gravity shopping days.)