Jim Furlong: ‘Tis the Season

I bought an ornament for our Christmas tree this week. The first of the season. I didn’t mean to. I was out to a “box stores” looking for a hinge but inside the store Christmas had taken over. 

The place was filled to the hatches with Christmas stuff although it was early November. It can’t be too early for me. Count me in for Christmas when the clocks go back. 

psycho cats

The Christmas lights were all out on display. I’m not sure what this year’s big seller is going to be, but something always emerges. One year it was rope lights. Another year it was big wheels of outdoor lights with 250 bulbs in it. 

A couple of years ago it was projector lights. Remember those things that throw images on your house? They never caught on in our neighbourhood. We did buy one but all it did was turn our two cats psycho. 

The moving projections had them jumping up the side of the house, so we gave it up. It was classic “unintended consequences.” 

Personally, I long for the days of tinsel and angel hair that were popular when we were growing up. I mentioned angel hair to my wife, but she said it was fiberglass. She acted like I wanted to put radioactive plutonium on the tree or something. 

I have to tell the truth. The artificial trees at the store were fabulous. They weren’t at all like the real thing, but they looked wonderful in their own way with the twinkling lights already installed and flashing perfectly. 

Last year at 10 in the night on Christmas Eve we still had a set of lights at the top of the tree that wouldn’t stay on. I personally think it was God’s punishment because we couldn’t find a good tree in the woods up behind the house so with time running out we bought a Nova Scotia farmed Christmas tree at a supermarket. That tree sagged and dropped all its needles the day after Boxing Day. 

scented decorations 

It also didn’t smell right which takes me back to the ornament I bought this year. It is a scented decoration. You can get different scents. I bought fir but they also had spruce and a few others like birch. I can’t even imagine a universe with a birch Christmas tree. Some world right? My mom and dad if they could see those things would flip over in their graves. Pretend smells. Amazing! 

We used to spend a lot of money on lights for the house at Christmas. At one time I thought lighting up the house at Christmas was about people trying to get noticed in the cruel world. In recent years I’ve changed my view. I think we do it for our children. Each year when our boys were home we would be up on the house swinging through the air like The Flying Wallendas putting up lights. Now the boys are men. They don’t live here, and we don’t have as many lights.

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: [email protected]

One thought on “Jim Furlong: ‘Tis the Season

  1. Patricia white
    November 23, 2019

    I smiled as I read this. I smiled as my memories of Christmas in St. John’s came back. The boxes of ornaments and lights that came down from the attic on Christmas Eve heralding cozy days ahead. The first box of Pot O Gold chocolates making its appearance on the coffee table, munching through another viewing of a well loved Shirley Temple movie as the aroma of turkey drifted all around the house. Relatives stopping in, Midnight mass at the Basilica, a late supper of roasted partridge after mass with laughter around the table fuelled by an energetic walk home in the cold midnight air. The tree with its string of bubble lights miraculously still bubbling away. Cardboard Santa propped up behind my father’s lazy boy ; my mom deaf to complaints of tackiness. It was all so predictable, so comfortable.. so homey. How I miss everything!

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