Thursday, December 11, 2008

This is the story of the "Gaudy Christmas Ornament"

I was around 10 when my boyscout troop made Christmas ornaments. I don't need to explain the process as it is obvious from the picture coming. So, I wrapped up my beautify and facinating creation for my mother and put it under the tree for a Christmas present. Sure enough, mother loved it, or so she said. It took a place of honor at the front of the tree that year even though the honor was to be revealed as tainted.

Several years later, we were putting ornaments on the tree. Mom pulled out my ornament, and in a very sour tone says, "this thing is so gaudy". So, lets just point out the the boxes are full of homemade gaudy ornaments, however it is that one that is singled out and given the obviously dubious honor of being "the" gaudy ornament of the decade.

I responded, "mom, I made that for you and gave it to you for Christmas a few years ago.". Her response was, "I mean gaudy as in pretty; very colorful".

Now, my mom doesn't lie, but this is the one "white" lie (no pun intended) I recall her telling me. Of course there are always those white lies to protect your kids fragile egos, but hey, the darn thing IS gaudy, why call a piece of trash a gem?

For the record, has gaudy listed as:

–adjective, gaud·i·er, gaud·i·est.
1. brilliantly or excessively showy: gaudy plumage.
2. cheaply showy in a tasteless way; flashy.
3. ostentatiously ornamented; garish.

Lets also do garish just to complete the picture:

1. crudely or tastelessly colorful, showy, or elaborate, as clothes or decoration.
2. excessively ornate or elaborate, as buildings or writings.
3. dressed in or ornamented with bright colors.
4. excessively bright; glaring.

Now, lets see the picture:

So, lets link the two together. It is cheaply showy in a tasteless way; flashy and ostentatiously ornamented; garish OR crudely or tastelessly colorful, showy, or elaborate, as clothes or decoration AND dressed in or ornamented with bright colors. This is truly the perfect description.

So, what is the conclusion? It is gaudy AND garish. It is also pretty ugly. I would never put that on my tree unless one of my sons made it for me. So, mom was simply being to nice to me. Unfortunately I was at an age where I was no longer easily fooled, and it has backfired on her.

Now, it is a family joke. Every year, that ornament magically appears at the FRONT of the tree! Why? Well, every year since that year I have in joking fun said, "hey, it is the gaudy ornament". For the first few years it was, "I mean pretty" but for at least the last 10 or so now there has been a complete denial of the discussion, however I know for sure she secretly knows it otherwise that ornament certainly would NOT be on the front of the tree, but take more of an inside spot on the back of the tree somewhere out of site. Wouldn't you? Or, a nice existance in the local trash dump is more appropriate.

Anyway, I get a pretty good kick out of her still defending herself to this day. It will be interesting to see how she responds to this post.


Kristin said...

That is such a great story. We have stories for many of the ornaments that end up on our tree too... and yes, quite a few are the ones made with love and perhaps not the best taste! Just think, someday one of your boys will hang it on their tree and tell the story of the "Gaudy Ornament" - I mean pretty!

Anonymous said...

I still think the ornament is pretty and I am not sure why I would have said it was gaudy. It is true that I didn't remember that you had made it for me and yes, it will always be on my tree along with the other 50% of my ornaments that were made by my children, students and friends.

Anonymous said...

PS How do I get to use my name on these blogs since I don't want to actually be a blogger??? In case you can't figure it out this is your MOM.