While the Christmas season is upon us, here is a look at a few ornaments hanging on our Christmas tree. Maybe you will like them, maybe you won’t. Either way doesn’t bother me. It is sometimes interesting when some people try to dictate a “right” or “wrong” way to decorate a Christmas tree. “You have to have all white lights.” “You have to have colored lights.” “Your ornaments should have a theme.” “You need tinsel garland.” And so on.
In actuality, there is no right or wrong way, unless you don’t like how you decorated your own tree that you look at all of the time. Christmas trees are just one of many ways to demonstrate our uniqueness and individuality. If you don’t like someone else’s tree, what difference should it make to them?
So while you may or may not approve, here two ornaments our tree. Our ornaments are all sorts of things that we have collected over the years from various places, or things that Jaylin has made, or things that Laura’s students have given her, or ornaments we have inherited from ancestors, or just something we liked at the store. Our tree style is best described as “general hodgepodge,” and that suits us just fine. And while I chose these two to share, Laura would have probably chosen two completely different ornaments, and Jaylin would have chosen even more different ones. But like us, all of those differences go together to make up our family tree.
In this first ornament, Mickey Mouse hangs from above on our Christmas tree, as this ornament recreates a scene from the classic Mickey Mouse cartoon “The Brave Little Tailor.” Of course, in that cartoon Mickey found himself hanging in the stomach of the giant and not from a Christmas tree branch, but if you don’t think about the gastric situation there, then it looks like Mickey is just hanging around on the tree, checking out the Christmas lights. Ignorance is bliss, except that now you know. Still, I do like this ornament for its “Classic Mickey” look, and I always have enjoyed that short cartoon, too. Besides, Mickey would probably rather be hanging around here that in someone’s digestive tract any day.
You may not guess it, but we actually have several Mickey Mouse ornaments on our tree, and ornaments of some of his friends, too. They have come from many different sources, and they are all special because of the different ways that we got them. Some people ask if we have a Disney Christmas tree, but it isn’t quite that, although it does have many Disney ornaments on it.
This next ornament is special to me because it is one that Jaylin picked out at some Christmas gathering of some sort where kids choose things for their parents. It might have been at school, but I am not entirely sure. But he chose it, and someone inscribed it with “Dad 2009.” Even though Jaylin didn’t make it himself, I still love it. I suppose I am a sucker for most anything that Jaylin gives me that says, “Dad,” because I know that has only come from one person, and it is a good reminder of our family and the love the three of us have for each other. Even when we have our rough days - and if you are a parent of a teenager and think you don’t have rough days, then maybe your child is actually an alien or something - I am still Dad, and that isn’t something to be taken lightly. It is a title I am happy to have.
And lastly, here is an overall look at our Christmas tree. Sort of. You can see the lights and the general shape, but that’s about it. But if you are thinking this is a mistake and the camera didn’t focus properly, I actually meant for it to look like this. This is a classic case of “bokeh,” or blurring caused by the camera lens, except that in this case there isn’t another part of the photo that is actually in focus. You can read more about that in Steve’s Photography Tips: Understanding Aperture, by the way. To some people it is blurry, to others it is art.
I have seen lots and lots of photos like this over the years, but I’m not sure that I have ever taken one of our tree. So I thought it would be fun to try it one time, and I liked it enough that I included it here. Once again, you may not like it as much, and that is certainly fine. But I think it is pretty neat.
During this Christmas season, I hope you get to enjoy being with your family around the Christmas tree, no matter how you choose to decorate it!
Here is what I have seen to be good: it is appropriate to eat, drink, and experience good in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of his life God has given him, because that is his reward. - Ecclesiastes 5:18
About the Photo
Each one of these was a quick handheld photo of ornaments on our tree. For the Mickey photo, I had the aperture opened up wide to get the right amount of bokeh. For the Dad ornament, I turned on the overhead light, because the front of the ornament was too much in the shadows. And for the bokeh tree, I again opened up the aperture and focused, or rather unfocused, manually.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus M.Zukio 25mm f1.8
Date: December 2, 2016
Location: Our house, Williston, Tennessee