Friday, December 14, 2007

Perspective Helps: 3400 Christmas Ornaments

I have a good friend who really doesn't look forward to this time of year. The problem? A spouse he thinks goes a little overboard with the whole decorating thing. Perspective is really all important here. This story on a local Colorado Springs resident should help.

John Kerr’s tidy house near Wasson High School is festooned with outdoor holiday lights, with handpainted angels and bears and wise men. But that’s just a hint of the Christmas riches inside.

Kerr has more than 40 Christmas trees that hold more than 3,400 ornaments, and he’s inviting the public to tour his house at 2516 Fairmount St. when his sign is out.

“If we’re home, we let people walk through,” Kerr said. “We put a sign up that says ‘come in and count trees.’"
What I always wonder is just how obsessions like this begin. The article tells us that too:

Now retired from his post as assistant superintendent of Colorado Springs School District 11, Kerr still has the one that started it all, a Santa ornament he bought when he was 10.

That’s the year his mom put up a metal Christmas tree because “she just didn’t want to be bothered by the fuss and mess,” and he didn’t like it.

So, he walked to the S.H. Kress & Co. five-and-dime store at 23 N. Tejon St. and bought himself an ornament. The man working at a nearby tree lot gave him a branch from a tree, he put his ornament on it and marched home.

He’s been collecting ornaments ever since.
I knew there was a good reason, other than the wonderful smell, that we always have a live tree.

Of course, those come with their challenges too, like the first Christmas after we married, when we brought a tree home from the tree farm only to find the next day, after we had finished decorating it, that somewhere in its depths had been a spider web, complete with egg sacs ready to hatch in the warmth of a human abode. Hundreds, hundreds of tiny spiders greeted us the next morning. I think we had to bomb the apartment to get rid of them. That was 3400 ornaments we could have lived without.