Throughout my entire life during Christmas time, there have always been a few givens: Mom bakes Christmas cookies for the entire family, Grandpa sets up the Christmas train, and Grandma is in charge of decorating the Christmas tree. Ever since I was little, my Grandma would bring me along with her to decorate her tree. She would show me how to fluff the branches on her artificial tree, put the angel on top, and angle the ornaments just right so that they perfectly reflected the Christmas lights. I always wondered how she got everything to look so perfect, like one of the trees that you see in a department store during Christmas time. Then one day as we were decorating her house for Christmas, she told me she was an actual professional Christmas tree decorator!
What in the world is a professional Christmas tree decorator? I thought she was joking, but then she said she was serious. I always thought that the employees of these department stores were just outstanding at decorating trees, but in reality, that is not the case. Grandma went on to explain that stores hire companies to do their holiday decorations, which include Christmas trees.
She would begin her “decorating tour” right around Halloween time by going around to the different stores to scout out the store and consult with management about what exactly they wanted the store to look like. She would then begin to decorate the trees. Grandma explained that some stores wanted fancy-themed trees that would match their store colors or certain trendy themes that would attract a customer’s eye. As she was explaining all this to me, I was curious about how she got such an odd job.
Grandma had a friend, named Joyce, who had always worked in the field of arts and decorating. She was very passionate and talented at decorating and being artistic. Joyce brought the idea up to my Grandma, and she jumped on it! She learned everything about decorating and how to achieve the most perfect-looking tree. Joyce and my Grandma went all around the east coast decorating stores and buildings for Christmas for many years to come.
Every year, I decorate my Grandma’s tree with her, and when she tells me that an ornament is not on the tree right, I remember that she is a professional and that I should listen to her advice. Having a professional Christmas tree decorator as a grandmother means that I have to carry on the legacy, which may be tough, but fun! It has always been an enjoyable activity that always helps her and I bond and get closer. I love to get a new piece of advice every year about how to make my Christmas tree look even better and more professional.
As I will be going to college next year and will not have as much time to spend with my Grandma, I want to savor every moment that I get to spend with her and learn as much from her as I can. Even if it is just learning how to string lights more skillfully or how to attach an ornament a bit more neatly, I love and appreciate all the things that I get to do with her.