The Halloween of 2013, Breana dressed as Satan- with a black and red tulle skirt. She was really cute. That year I had my upside down tree hanging year-round in the living room but you couldn't see it from the street. I had dressed it for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, my Birthday (it beat out Easter that April), July 4th, and finally Halloween before Christmas would take over. Our new neighbors across the street, and downhill, I hadn't officially met. I knew nothing about them except that they weren't home during trick-or-treat rush hour on Halloween. Right when the candy rush had died down, we were just hanging out on our front porch when the neighbors pulled into their driveway, turned their porch lights on and the Dad sat out front with a bowl of "treats". It was so quick and matter of fact. Come home, turn on lights, sit on porch. I would have poured a glass of wine first, gone to the bathroom, shoved some Reeses in my mouth, etc. But this man meant business! Gotta spread the good word type business! Breana noticed and asked if she could make one last run for candy so off she went while I watched. My little Beelzebub came running back, "I got a 1 million dollar bill..." No candy, just pretend paper money that said something super serious like "Go find Jesus" with a whole bunch of print on how we could do that. This is great; we got to finally know our neighbors!
Fast forward to last year, Halloween season of 2014. My friend, Alison, suggested I hang the upside down tree in the front playroom by the large picture window. So mid to late September I did just that and it looked amazing! You couldn't miss it- from the street at night it's simply gorgeous. It's honestly like the leg lamp in 'A Christmas Story'... I admire it from the street and have to clutch at my heart on occasion. Breathtaking. But no joke, the day after I decorated the tree for Halloween, I noticed my neighbors across the way had closed all of their curtains and blinds facing the street. As long as they've lived there, they have never closed all of their curtains and blinds. I joked around with everyone that the neighbors must have been offended by my Halloween tree that looks like a glowing ball of fire pointing toward the depths of hell. On Halloween their blinds still were closed but I noticed something wonderful, they were decorating for Halloween! Wait- why on Halloween evening would you decorate? Whatever, maybe I had somehow rubbed off on them. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?! Apparently not, and they were surely beating something, because the tombstones in their front yard said stuff like, "Here Lies Your Sins" and other jargon of that nature. No, I actually think they were the ten commandments. I stood by my front picture window, next to my upside down tree (I may have been petting it), my zombie makeup on, my pumpkin martini in hand, as my neighbors downhill led some kind of prayer around their "cemetery". Weirdos. I'll just go tend to my guacamole "vomit", my hot dog "severed fingers" and my gingerbread skeletons. When trick-or-treating was over that night, they had briskly cleaned up their yard decor. And then they moved. They really did. They moved shortly after.
I haven't met my new neighbors yet but I'm curious to see where they stand with the upside down tree. I hung this when Breana was at school because I tend to let the F-word fly during difficult situations in life. This thing is a mother to hang. Originally it came with a stand for table top use but I have always hung it from the ceiling. I wrap a chain around the top and put a bicycle hook in the ceiling. My tree is two pieces that fit together. Last year, the bottom half decided to come crashing down 48 hours after I decorated it. This piece has always been a battle that I forget about. It's meant to sit on a table, not dangle in air, so gravity takes hold of it if I don't make proper adjustments. Someone once suggested I use plastic wrap around the base and the other part would grip onto it. Year after year I try this and it never works. So I took a hammer and pounded upward several times and secured the two pieces with another chain. Why I decided to hang it when the sun was pouring in, I don't know. Before long I was stumbling around half blinded by the sun & sweating out the previous night's pumpkin beer toxins and that's totally okay because who needs a sauna or a heavy workout when you're in upside down Christmas tree-hanging mode? I made it a point to listen to extremely calming music at a very high volume so to drown out my negative thoughts but still "f*cker!" was muttered in almost every exhale. I rejoiced in the fact that the tree was hung, attached and my fingers only had minor scrapes and cuts. You would think by now I would test out my string lights before I'm ready to decorate. But no, that would make too much sense, so I just wait until the stringing moment to find out that three damn strands of lights are dead. Why did you die? You were sitting in a dark box for 10 months with no purpose in life, why did you have to die? I hate that because a trip to the store is never just a trip to get lights. It's always $75 more than that. Always. And it always involves dumb shit like oh I sooooooo need this little chalkboard coffin for my niece! Coffin craft!
Behold, my upside down tree. If you're still convinced I'm a devil worshipper, do you know the history of the upside down tree? I bought it strictly because it's quirky and a space saver. But during the 12th century, trees were hung upside down from ceilings at Christmastime in Eastern Europe as a symbol of Christianity. And some say it's because God wants you to be transformed upside down and inside out. But, does anyone really care? It looks good and around here, the only thing I'm preaching and pressuring you to do is to have a good time.
Tree is 5'-0" and was bought in 2009 from http://www.christmascentral.com
At the time of this blog post, it has been 48 hours since the hanging of the tree and it's still in tact (for now).
Since hanging the tree in the front window, the new neighbors downhill have placed a cute pumpkin wreath on their front door.