Christmas Decorations


Christmas Decorations



I want to live in the house you see pictured on the Christmas cards. The one you see pictured in a two-page centerfold in every glossy magazine. The house with the perfect decorations in every single room.

So every year, while I am thinking about Christmas, I have these visions of putting up a Christmas tree in every room of my house. Family lore told me that I had an aunt that did have a tree in every room, so I think it is possible to do. When I was a child, I heard the stories of my Aunt Beece and her amazing decorations every year. We lived a thousand miles apart, and so I never did get to see her decorations in person. I never even saw very many pictures of them! Kids today, growing up with email and digital cameras and internet connections, will never understand why photographic sharing was limited “back in the day.”

Without having actual pictures to see exactly what my Aunt Beece was putting up, my mind came up with spectacular decorations, stuff with amazing special effects that would make Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg jealous. In my mind’s eye, I can see all of these lovely Christmas trees. I picture each of them with a different decorating theme, something special and incredible for each room.

Now that I have my own house, I imagine replicating these amazing decorations from my imagination. I could put up one tree with all doll decorations – Barbie and Raggedy Ann and Madame Alexander will all play nicely with each other, and maybe I could also hang some of those adorable tiny china teapots for them to have a treat at teatime.

I could put up a tree with fun Star Trek ornaments, so we can Live Long and Prosper. My grandsons would be thrilled to see a tree filled with all different trains and trucks and tractors – but I am not sure how long those would actually stay on the tree. It is fun to imagine all the different “themes” I could have on multiple trees.

Reality, however, always speaks up.

Silly old reality, anyway!

Reality points out how much work would be involved in trying to set up and organize multiple Christmas trees.

I scoff at Reality.

Starting with good intentions, I carve out a spot in my living room for the first tree. I start looking in other rooms for the perfect location to set up tree number two and tree number three.

Then I remember the part where I am lazy, and it takes me far longer to finish decorating the first tree than originally planned. For example, this year’s tree is not-quite-halfway decorated at the moment. When I unwrap an ornament, I often need to stop to tell the story. I have a wardrobe of stocking hats on my tree, each hanging there because my little one made it in school. Nestled against the hubby’s fancy Terry Redlin collector ornament hangs the stocking hat made of yarn and a piece of cardboard tissue roll, up against the beautiful “You Paid HOW much?” ornament snuggles the snowman painted and created from a wooden paint stir stick.

I think about setting up fancy themed Christmas trees. There is nothing fancy about the tree I set up, but it does have a theme – the theme of my tree is love.





intro post

Before I jump right in to telling everybody what to think and why to think it, a very quick intro for the friends that do not know me yet is needed. I enjoy meeting new people and making new friends.

I like meeting people in person, and I also like meeting them online, in the newspaper, and even in books. I do always refer to the people I have only met online as “my imaginary friend named Bob” rather than just as “my friend Bob.” If I have only communicated with Bob on the internet, Bob might very well be a cat in real life, after all.

I am not afraid of talking to strangers, often embarrassing my family by striking up conversations with random people in a crowd. After all, a stranger is just a friend you have not had the chance to meet yet.

Therefore, until I do get the chance to meet you in person, I will claim the title of your “new imaginary friend.” Like all good imaginary friends and beloved teddy bears, I am a little shabby around the edges, like a well-worn pair of jeans – soft and comfortable and starting to fray a bit, but still tough enough to keep going strong.

I am Nikki Paulsen and I live in the House at Pooh Corner.


I like coffee and popcorn and chocolate, but when I say it out loud, it arranges itself into the tune of that old Tom T Hall melody. While I do also like little baby ducks and old pickup trucks, I am not at all fond of rain.

I am allergic to peanuts and hard work and keeping my mouth shut. Avoiding contact with peanuts is much easier than avoiding the other two, I must admit.

I find the world to be an exciting place. I use exclamation points freely, not just in my writing but also in my face-to-face conversations. I do talk with my hands – the joke has been made (more than twice) that instead of gagging me, all they would have to do to keep me quiet is tie my hands behind my back.


I often leap before I look, and when I jump, I jump with both feet! I go all in on anything I care about. I celebrate my holidays with abandon, taking as much wide-eyed joy at the lights and sounds and spectacles of the Christmas season as any three-year-old. Shopping and baking and eating, oh, my!

As I write this, I am looking forward to squeezing in as many holiday events as I can honestly squish into my calendar: turning on the Christmas lights, attending the Singing Christmas Tree performance at the Minot First Assembly of God church, attending at least one and hopefully two elementary school music programs, attending the spaghetti dinner, Christmas Concert and Nativity display at Bishop Ryan High School, square dancing with friends, putting up a tree inside my own house, putting up my Christmas village, and, if the weather smiles upon me on a day off from other responsibilities, heading to Garrison for their amazing Dickens Festival!