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I held up a plastic reindeer. "This one is Dancer. I wonder if Santa called him Dancer because he could dance?"
"In that case, why was that other one called Vixen?" Eric asked.
I smacked him on the arm, and he only laughed at me. We stood in the living room decorating the tree. I had spread open the drapes so we could see the snow falling outside. So festive. I placed the reindeer ornament on a branch of the blue spruce. We bought a real tree as we did every year, but this year we splurged on a blue spruce. It set us back $60 but we felt the expense was worth the Christmas cheer.
Most of the Christmas ornaments were mine. Eric's ornaments came from a tattered box he found in Walmart, and he wasn't emotionally attached to them. Mine were old, and they held special significance for me.
Eric held up a terra cotta ball with turquoise embedded in the clay. "Where did you get this one? It looks Southwestern."
"It is. I bought it in Tucson, Arizona the first time I went there."
"I'll take you to Tucson someday. Then you can buy more Christmas ornaments."
"We need to plan that trip." He handed me the ornament, which took a place of honor at eye level on the tree.
He held up an orange plastic ball with string tassels hanging from it. "What's this one?"
"It's Korean. I've had it since I was a child. My Korean pen pal sent it to me."
"You never told me you had a pen pal."
"Never came up in conversation. She sent me ginseng tea, and I sent her Hershey's chocolates. I got the better deal." I took the ornament and placed it on the tree. "This was one decoration she sent me. I have two others in the box somewhere. They aren't Christmas ornaments, but I use them that way."
"It's very pretty." He held up a ceramic Santa. "I know who this guy is."
"I love that ornament. It's hollow with a hole in the bottom. You stick a Christmas light in there and the tree lights it up. Here, like this." I took the ornament, positioned it directly above a twinkling light, and shoved the light home. "See? Instant lit up Santa."
He gave me a smirk when he held up a dark figure of a goat with its tongue hanging out. "So you have a Krampus ornament? Does your Christian mother know?"
"She'd never understand it, and I don't have the patience to explain it to her." I laughed.
"Oh, boy, now you sold me." He said as he held up a large plastic one with lights all over it. "A Klingon war bird? Do you have the others?"
"Yup. I have the Enterprise and a Romulan vessel." I took the Klingon ship and hung it from a branch. Then, I removed the light from the string directly below the ornament and plugged the ornament into the string. Instantly, the war bird's lights flashed at the corners and on the top.
"That is the coolest thing I've ever seen. Where did you find them?"
"At a Star Trek convention. I couldn’t pass them up."
"I don't blame you. I have the Enterprise, but not the whole set."
"They're great fun. Every time people see them I get comments."
"What about these guys?" He held up a small Siamese, a Persian, and a Tuxedo. "Is this the Crazy Cat Lady starter kit?"
"Now you're just being silly." I took the ornaments from him and scattered them about the branches. Then I pointed to an oblong box inside the larger box of lights and ornaments. "Hey, hand that box to me, please."
He held it up and his face lit up. "I love these kinds of lights. They've made a comeback recently."
"I know. Bubble lights are the best." I plugged in the bubble lights to the end of the string of twinkling lights. They immediately shined green, red, and blue. I positioned them on the sturdier branches so that they would be easily seen. "They'll take a few minutes to begin bubbling. My best friend's family had glass bubble lights on their tree when I was a kid, so when I saw them for sale about ten years ago I had to have them. These are plastic, but I like not breaking one every two seconds."
Eric pulled a small box from the larger one. "I remember these. This one is a dragon. They're very cool looking."
"They're replicas of carousel horses from the Smithsonian Institution. I have the zebra, dragon, and warrior horse. I've always wanted the cat, but I never got around to buying it."
"Well, in that case…" Eric dug into the box until he reached the bottom. He handed a gold and silver wrapped box to me. "Open this."
I was surprised. How did he hide this box with all my other ornaments, and I didn't see it? The box was the same size, shape, and weight as the dragon box. My heart skipped a beat. "You didn't."
He grinned. "I did."
I tore open the paper until I saw the box beneath. Inside I found an ornament of a white cat running with a fish in its mouth. "Where did you find this? I've had these since the '90s, and I've never seen them anywhere for sale."
"eBay is my friend." He said with a smile.
"And you knew I wanted it!" I wrapped my arms around Eric and held him tightly. "You always know exactly what I need."
"Well, I don't know if you need the cat ornament, but you sure wanted it."
I kissed him. "You're perfect for me. Thank you."
"I'd do anything to please you. You know that."
We finished decorating the tree and then sat down to a lamb and asparagus dinner. With the tree lit, "Silent Night" playing on Internet radio, and a delicious dinner, I couldn't have asked for a better holiday season. All thanks to Eric and his love for me.