The line between taste and tacky

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“What is that?”

That was the reaction I got when I put a Christmas decoration in a cart while out shopping. Actually, it wasn’t a decoration, so much as a dancing “something.”  The price tag said it was a snowman, but it was red and didn’t have a face, which means it didn’t fit the definition of a traditional snowman.

The purpose of this trip, which also included my eldest daughter, was to buy what my wife called some “tasteful” decorations. Her reasoning was that, since our two youngest children are close to 18, we should be able to buy some nice things without the risk of getting them broken.

For some reason, I was handed this assignment. Now, when it comes to Christmas, I’m big on tacky. That’s why it seemed strange I was left in the decoration aisle by myself while my wife and daughter went to look for other presents.

 I went for a balance—I picked out some things I felt were in the “tasteful” category—to be fair, we did get most of them. However, I figured we didn’t want to get too tasteful. I figured this red singing ornament inside and a blow-up penguin outside would give the message that we hadn’t got too cultured.

I figured if you show too much culture, people will start expecting things.  Like planting a garden and actually making sure you cut your lawn every week. It’s not like I don’t want to cut my lawn every week—I say every week  (sometimes to myself but usually to my wife), I have to cut the lawn tomorrow. Sometimes it happens—most times it doesn’t.

Both of my tacky suggestions were vetoed and, I admit, rightly so. We did go for a different decorating look inside and I think it looks tasteful. Several other people whose opinion on taste I value also indicated that so I feel better saying it. Given what I have said so far, I wouldn’t expect you to accept my opinion on things.

On a related front, my beautiful bride was further ahead and less stressed about Christmas this year than in the past.  She couldn’t say why,   but I would like to think it was all the support I gave her. However, the one day she did ask me to pick up some things, I forgot half of them, so I really can’t claim that.

Instead, her preparation may have rubbed off on me. I actually had a number of gifts purchased five days before Christmas. That has happened since—well it has never happened before. However, it will take a few more years before it can be called either a trend or an oddity. I suspect it will probably fall into the latter category.

Hope everybody had a great Christmas and Happy New Year from the Walker family.

That’s the way it is in real life.

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