Tis the Season

Jeff SummersCorrespondent INovember 30, 2009

PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 23:  Infielder Mark Reynolds #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts during the major league baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on September 23, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 5-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

“Mom’s Ticked! She saw what you did.” Unfortunately that is a text message that I receive quite regularly from one of my kids. I’d love to say that I had no idea what this was referring to but this time I actually did.

Now that Thanksgiving is over it is time to retrieve the Christmas decorations from the boxes in the garage and transform our normally Sedona Red home into a winter wonderland. Over the years we seem to have accumulated just about every holiday decoration that has ever been made.

Decorating for Christmas is not just an afternoon event. At our house it cannot even be confined to a single day. Instead it feels like it stretches for days or even weeks. Because of this we have to start right after Thanksgiving in order to get them all up before Christmas arrives.

Among the various decorations is the Christmas tree. When we were first married I was a firm believer in having a real Christmas tree. As the years went by, it became more and more of a hassle and finally I succumbed and bought an artificial tree.

Our house has vaulted ceilings which tend to dwarf a regular sized tree. So when I bought the tree I measured the ceiling height and added a few inches. The result was that we bought a nine-and-a-half foot tree for our living room.

I went with the pre-lit variety since I really don’t like to hassle with putting lights on the tree. Even with the lights already on the branches it still takes a couple of days to completely decorate the tree.

This year, despite her better judgment, Trina left me in charge of the tree while she focused on the other decorations. This happens about as often as the Diamondbacks making the postseason. Somehow it never works out and in subsequent years she takes over the tree duties for a while.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Christmas tree. On the one hand I love seeing it fully decorated and enjoy sitting by the tree watching the lights twinkle. On the other hand, I get frustrated whenever I get the decorations out of the box, especially the tinsel.

When the Arizona Diamondbacks were first awarded I went out and found the perfect Christmas tree tinsel. It was purple with specks of copper. I was so proud of that tinsel. Then after the 2006 season the Diamondbacks changed their colors and suddenly that tinsel mocked me every time I took it out of the box.

Every year the tinsel comes out of the box I curse at the thoughts of putting the old team colors on the tree. That is usually followed by a trip to the various stores in the area desperately seeking Sedona Red tinsel.

I will think I have found the perfect Sedona Red tinsel and then when I compare it to my Diamondbacks hat I will find it is the wrong shade of red. I’ll then put the tinsel back and go to the next store. After a fruitless search I’ll return home and be forced to use the old purple tinsel.

Over the years the tinsel has taken a beating and had become fairly ragged. Last Christmas Trina decorated the tree and while I was gone she replaced the tinsel. Instead of going through the same search for Sedona Red tinsel she did the unthinkable.

She brought home New York Yankees blue tinsel and wrapped it around the tree. I remember coming home and discovering that my Christmas tree was now wrapped in the colors of an American League team.

She may as well have ripped my heart out and stomped on it. So this year it is even worse than in years past. It was bad enough that my tree was using the old team colors; now it is wrapped in the tinsel of the Evil Empire.

Despite all of my grumbling Trina insisted that the tinsel was perfectly fine and I was not to replace it. So begrudgingly I used the Yankees tinsel.

After hours of work getting the tree up, troubleshooting burnt out lights, and washing my hands numerous times after handling Yankees tinsel, the tree was finally decorated—or so I thought.

As I was about to put the ladder away the kids reminded me that I did not put the tree topper in place. Trina has an angel that adorns the top of our tree. I just could not bring myself to add yet another American League symbol to our tree.

So I did what any National League fan would do. I climbed to the top of the ladder and put my Arizona Diamondbacks hat on top of the tree. I climbed down and admired my work. It looked perfect.

Now based on the text message my daughter sent I may have to re-think my decorating or at the very least come up with a reason why the Diamondbacks hat is more appropriate than an angel at the top of the tree.

Maybe I’ll just tell her; the Yankees may wrap the tree but the Diamondbacks are on top. I’m sure she’ll buy that, won’t she?


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.