It’s All About Starting New Traditions, But Including Star Trek
Posted on November 17, 2011
Did you know that a small, kinda largish number of people don’t keep up with me on my blog? I know, crazy, right? I’ve been documenting my progress on Operation Decorate-Before-My-Guy-Comes-Home-For-Thanksgiving on Facebook for the past week–I told you all about it in my previous blog post–and I gotta tell you, it’s an uphill battle. Even worse, an unexpected uphill battle. I have this thing with establishing a tradition and then sticking with it. When it comes to Christmas, it starts wayyyyy back in my childhood. Dad would put the tree up–I’d help–then I’d decorate. This changed when I turned 14, though.
Why 14? Because VHS became slightly affordable. Don’t worry, it’s part of the tradition thing and I didn’t suddenly jump the shark. Anyway, one of the first jobs I ever had was as a dishwasher and the first item I ever bought with my check was Star Trek: The Motion Picture. From K-Mart. 15 Mile and Groesbeck. There’s a piece of trivia for you. Christmas came around that year–as it does every year–and I not only took over putting the tree up, but decorating it, which I did while watching the Star Trek tape.
This became the norm every year and I added a new Star Trek film whenever one was released. I moved out of my folks home after I graduated from college and they gave me the tree to take with me. That was 18 years ago. And each year, I’d put the tree up and watch the Star Trek films while I decorated. Right up until about three years ago. Ralph came home for the holidays, decided he’d help me decorate, then insisted we put something else in besides Star Trek. I was aghast. I was indignant. He ignored my reactions and put something else in. He was summarily cut out of assisting with the tree after that until he agreed to watch the films I’d been watching all these many years. I’m not allowed to mess with Chinese tradition and he’s not allowed to mess with Trek!
Flash forward to two nights ago. I wanted to surprise him and have the entire place decorated before he arrives for Thanksgiving, only the tree was missing pieces. It was missing pieces I can’t fix, recreate or make up for. The poor thing doesn’t owe me anything. It’s been with my family for 35+ years, existed through all our dogs and, truth be told, it’s been ready to retire for a number of years now. Ralph and I were just too attached to the tradition of having it to let it go.
They don’t make them like this anymore. I searched a number of stores last night and the trees are just…kinda awful-ish. They’re pre-lit (that’s cheating!) and flimsy, even the expensive ones. Our old one was strong, a combination of wire stuck into a wooden frame and it had a history. I’m actually still misty-eyed at the thought of no longer having it.
But, I look at it this way. This is a time to start new traditions. My guy and I are getting married in a few months. How incredible is it that any gay couple can get married? Who knew we’d ever see it? The world is changing around us, but it doesn’t mean we can’t hold on to some of the traditions we…er…one of us has loved throughout the years. Come hell or high water, I’m still going to watch Star Trek movies while I decorate the tree.
And I still have pictures of my old tree to go along with the memories the holiday will bring up. So here’s to tradition and making some new ones during the upcoming months!
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
11 Responses to “It’s All About Starting New Traditions, But Including Star Trek”
C. Zampa says:
November 17, 2011 at 8:44 am
Okay, first thing before it slips my roulette-wheel-of-a-brain. Do you mean Groesbeck, Texas? Are you from Texas? Don’t laugh…that’s the only Groesbeck I’ve ever heard of. LOL..
Star Trek to decorate the tree with? It has its possibilities, but then again….if dear Ralph goes along with this tradition of yours, he is quite a fellow. LOL. Now–next to YOUR movie—decorating my tree with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer seems so very blasé. Sigh.
November 17, 2011 at 11:07 am
Groesbeck is actually a road/highway of sorts here in Michigan. =) And I would never laugh at a question…and tell you.
The Trek decorations are the ships Hallmark has been releasing for the past 20 or so years. Love them!
Dorien Grey says:
November 17, 2011 at 8:48 am
You hang in there, Kris, and do it for yourself, for Ralph, for your folks, and for those who do not decorate because they have no one to decorate for.
November 17, 2011 at 11:09 am
That’s just it; I do kinda decorate for myself, but I’ve gotten to including others because they like that somebody still puts in some effort. =)
Sara York says:
November 17, 2011 at 9:06 am
Oh my, I’m sure you’ll find a great tree somewhere. We retired ours from when we first got married 20+ years ago. I have to say that I love the prelit one that is now ours. You can still add lights on your own…Congratulations on getting married. I’m happy for you two.
November 17, 2011 at 11:08 am
I’m checking out English Gardens after work.
Thank you for the congrats! I just hope he doesn’t get cold feet and that his Grandmother doesn’t find out.
Dawn R. says:
November 17, 2011 at 9:47 am
*grins* Kris…I love your tradition and I am sure you will find a great tree somewhere.
Love the blog and congratulations on your upcoming marriage.
November 17, 2011 at 11:08 am
Thank you, Dawn! Just have to evade the ninja squads his Grandmother is likely to send again if she finds out.
Phoenix Emrys says:
November 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Yey for the trek! “I’m doctor, not an interior decorator!’ heheh.
Sharita Lira says:
November 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm
Congrats on the marriage! We want pics.
Aw hope you find a tree b4 Ralph gets home. 😀
Dawn Tate says:
November 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm
I absolutely loved this — I too, have many traditions (including hanging my beloved Star Trek ornaments on the tree — some NOT designed for Christmas but I have been hanging them for 35+ years anyway…) — and I remember the old Kmart at 15 and Grosebeck… (I lived in Warren MI for 25 years…) Anyway – I totally agree about the quality of the trees now a days… two years ago, I lost my home and moved to the other side of the state. In the process of downsizing, I gave up a wonderful Christmas tree – thinking I could replace it down the road… wrong! I don’t want pre-lit trees and the ones I see are so flimsy and cheesy looking! Last year I went without and it was kinda depressing… I don’t know what I will do this year. Anyway… great blog…