Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Christmas windows - how do they happen?

As I walked out of the building after 6pm today where I'd been working with a corporate client, a team of about twelve people, dressed in yellow high visibility vests, were putting up the Christmas tree.

There they were, a strangely mismatched family.  There was one woman amongst eleven men and she was busy unpacking the boxes.  The men were busily unfurling the branches and leaves of the Christmas tree itself.  The frame for the tree was standing ready and it was very large.  I wondered how long it would take to erect the tree, let alone to decorate it.

Two older men were standing up and deep in conversation as they fiddled and twiddled their sprigs of spruce.  Another young man, sat to one side, grimly intent on his task.  There was something incongruous about the men at this task, but I can't quite work out what it was.  It made me smile.

I remember putting together my brother's Christmas tree last year.  It was very large, but it took quite a bit of time.  Not reading the instructions or having an understanding of the basic shape of a pine tree  made the task more difficult.  It may have taken me about an hour.  I can't imagine when the task will be finished for these workers.  The tree was probably going to be five times larger (at least) and there would probably be hundreds of pieces to put in place.

I wonder whether these people like their work.  They may be staff of the organisation, but they looked more like a team of people who go around doing window displays and it just happens to be Christmas displays at this time of year.  I wonder if they enjoy their work.  Do they take pleasure in this seasonal tradition?

I imagine them returning to a home bare of any decoration.  Certainly there would be nothing requiring assembly at their place.  I wonder what they gather around on Christmas morning at their place.

Personally I enjoy the colour and cheer Christmas decorations bring, but I don't often decorate my own home.  I don't like the waste and consumption that often goes with cheap, quick decorations.  I'd rather have one, very special, treasured ornament that is displayed each year and carefully laid away until the following year.

Gone are the days of spraying "Santa snow" on the windows of the house.  It's summer here, so that makes no sense at all!  But I do love to put some Christmas music on the stereo to sing along to.  I know it's inconsistent, but imitating Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" croon, makes me feel silly and Christmassy.

What's your approach to Christmas decorations?  Do you have a tree?  Real or plastic?  How about lights?  Do you drain the eastern seaboard of electricity when you flick the Christmas switch or perhaps you light a candle with a thought of someone special?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. I never bothered with decorations until the child came along. Kids really get into that stuff once they understand it and the presents and junk food that comes along with it.

    I get a real tree each year. They smell great.

    I can understand the Bing Crosby christmas songs thing. Mum had a few tapes of Bing and Charlie Pride and Jim Reeves and various other crooners doing christmas classics. They always got played in December. They bring back the memories of childhood christmases.