December 17th, 2009

Santa Steeplechase

Do I look like Charlie Brown?

Someone has decorated my tree.

Allow me to explain: on a countertop next to my desk is a nine-inch-tall tabletop Christmas tree. This is a scale model of the tree you found your presents beneath Last Year at Marienbad. (Surely you remember?) Picture a giant, dark green pipe cleaner shaved into a perfect cone, and you’ll get the general idea. I thought it was an amusing, minimalist take on holiday decorating, and a contrast to the profusion of ribbons, garlands, paper snowflakes, and tinsel that co-workers had used to deck their cubicles.

Anyway, when I came to work this morning I discovered that some Christmas elf had adorned my tree with a string of miniature colored lights (non-functional) and topped it with a white plastic snowflake. I actually like the lights, since they’re just the right size to suggest the big outdoor bulbs people use on their roofs and in their front yards. I am less pleased with the snowflake, which is too big, strikes me as both awkward and fussy, and is being held on by a green pipe cleaner that’s entirely the wrong shade of green.

Mostly, though, my objection is philosophical: dude, you do not mess with someone else’s Christmas decorations, even if you do think they look “sad”.