Our tree is about 8 feet tall — about 18 inches too short, if you ask me. If you stand outside, you can tell we have a tree but you can't see much of it because it's stuck in the corner and it's too short. I like to be able to see our tree from the sidewalk. I sometimes stand outside other people's huge, parlor-level windows, admiring their gigantic, sparkling trees, and channeling The Little Match Girl (the most depressing Christmas story ever). Then I head home, wondering if my drunken father is going to beat me again because I didn't sell all my matches, and it's cheering to see my own Christmas tree.
Because of the kittens, the tree is sparsely decorated by my standards. I didn't use any of my precious, old glass ornaments, including those I bought with my mom (ornament shopping is a year-round sport when you live in Bethlehem, the Christmas City of the USA) or any she gave me. Instead I used mostly unbreakable stuff, which is mostly pretty silly, like cardboard cut-outs of kittens dressed in Victorian outfits, silver and gold plastic horns, and spiky Polish foil stars that look like sea urchins.
The kittens haven't broken anything. So far. They just rearrange ornaments when they don't like where I've hung them. Okay, they pull them off the branches and knock them around like little mad creatures, is what they do. It's to be expected.
Harris and Toffee examine the tree shortly after I finished it.
Smacking a papier-maché ball from India. I could use a few more of them.
Harris critiques Toffee's technique. Toffee's best trick is to stand under
the tree and jump straight in the air, grabbing whatever ornaments he can
reach on his way down. He's resourceful, this one.