M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, December 04, 2002  

Trash and I moved in together in the summer of 1990. That Christmas, someone in her family gave us a lovely Lenox™ china Christmas tree ornament emblazoned with the words “Our First Christmas 1990.”

We got married in 1991. That Christmas, someone else in her family gave us a lovely ornament emblazoned with the words “Our First Christmas 1991.”

Two First Christmases in a row? Houston, we have a family tradition.

Not that we could expect anybody but the most uninformed benefactor to help us commemorate our First Christmas when it was now our second as husband and wife and our third under the same roof. We were on our own. So the next year, we went out and bought ourselves an ornament that said “Our First Christmas 1992.” It was rather tacky-looking, but it was part of a set.

Over the years, the OFC set has grown, and they’ve gotten a bit more tacky over the years. In 1994, we bought a heart-shaped scrap of painted plywood with the slogan, but it lacked the year. So I wrote “1994” on the front of it in red felt-tip. It’s still partly legible. The following year, we had our ornament custom-made. An artisan at a State Fair kiosk painted “Our First Christmas 1995” on a blue bulb, registering some confusion when Trash let slip that this was only the latest in a series. We’ve bought several on vacations; the 1996 edition came from a shop in Myrtle Beach, SC and 2001’s was picked up during a visit to the Quad Cities. The ornament that reads “Our First Christmas 2002” is a small silver picture frame that can be hung on the tree. Of course we haven’t bothered to put a picture in it. Who do you think we are?

Up until a few years ago, the OFCs would go into the big crates of decorations with everything else, and when we’d decorate the tree there would always be a few minutes of “hey, where’s 1993?” or “what does 1997 look like, again?” Then we finally got smart and started putting all of them in a smaller box together. The smaller box still goes into the big crates, of course, but at least they’re all in one place. That’s the important thing.

In fact, it’s surprising how important it is.

It started out as a goofy gag so we could laugh at ourselves. And we still do. But we also save the OFC ornaments for last, and they always go on the side of the tree where people can see them. And we’re extra careful about putting them in their little box (which will probably have to be replaced in favor of a bigger box this year) at the end of the season. And one of us will always mention how some year in the future, we’ll have an entire Christmas tree covered with nothing but lights and garland and ornaments that say “Our First Christmas,” and we’ll have trouble finding boughs from which to hang all of them. Including the one with bride and groom teddy bears made out of dough that will have deteriorated to an empty coat of varnish by then.

So, now you want a neat little concluding paragraph wrapping up today’s entry, complete with zippy punchline and theme and maybe a callback to something further up? Come up with it yourself. I’m going to go kiss my wife.

posted by M. Giant 3:38 PM 0 comments


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