Few Christmas decorating accoutrements disturb me the way shiny tinsel does. No kidding. I see packages of the stuff, and my breathing becomes shallow. And I am overcome with feelings of ineptness.

Tinsel was once the staple of Christmas tree decorations in mid-20th century America. Not so much after the ‘60’s. In fact, I haven’t seen a tinsel laden Christmas tree since the last time I watched The Bishop’s Wife, with Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young.   And you would need an angel to make a tree look so good!

Even in black and white, its shimmering splendor reminded me of the trees my father put up. Not that ours looked like that.

tinsel

TINSEL Par Excellence

I wonder now if my father secretly hoped it might.

We always had the tinsel on a tree — one filled with big colored electric bulbs and oh so breakable, colorful balls. He must have loved tinsel – every year we had at least four bundles. And he was methodical in stringing the lights, hanging the ornaments I didn’t drop, or step on, and finishing the tree with a silver haze of tinsel, despite me.

My father thought the best way to apply the tinsel was strand by strand; I believed in throwing it in clumps and hoping for the best.

And there in that memory is the root of my discomfort with tinsel – Tinsel that is not meticulously applied, gets hopelessly tangled . . . So, tinsel means a right way and a wrong way to get a job done . . . not welcome news to a child of the ‘60’s. Of course, insisting on following my father’s fussy methods can tangle up a girl just as predictably.

Looking for balance here.

This meme, then, is advice worth my heeding, especially in the run-up to the Holidays, and their aftermath:

tinsel

What To Do with the TINSEL

But how?

  • Remember: Christmas is just one day – by January 25th, nobody will remember what I gave or forgot . . . they might remember how I behaved.

  • Remember, if God didn’t die and leave me in charge, neither did the spirit of the season. I can’t be  SANTA!

I have no idea what people need . . . even though they may tell me what they want. But, I believe it may be similar to what I wish for – to be useful, and to make a difference in the lives of those I love. I think even the littlest one on my list would respond to well to the gift of my time and attention – something Amazon Prime cannot deliver.

  • Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. ~ Sydney J. Harris

God is not like Santa . . . His gifts are not a stocking stuffed with what’s on my wish list, nor is my stocking ever empty – He is the God of opportunities to try again.

PS: By the time Doug and I put up our first tree, tinsel was so passé that we never faced the question of how best to apply it – a great relief because I feared an attorney might be as meticulous as a banker, especially when I saw the precision with which he placed the ornaments. But, he has assured me, no, he is a tinsel-tosser, too. Yet another reason I love the guy!

 

Thanks for sharing!