Here is my tree so far. It’s still work in progress.

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My goal was to make a red, white, and blue tree this year. This is as far as I’ve gotten.  As I was looking at it; it seems to be missing something.  It needs more blue. So I searched my basement for some blue ornaments I was sure I had. I apparently never had them or they were just too blue to stay down in the basement alone year after year and decided to wander off to find some company.

The Wal-Mart Supercenter is open 24 hours; so I figured I would just head on over there and grab some blue balls for my tree and maybe some blue silk flowers for it too. Well, not so fast; Wal-Mart apparently had other plans. If I had been looking for vomit green, hot pink, black or lots of brown, I would have been satisfied; they had one small box each of those colors. But there wasn’t a blue ball in the place. No blue silk Christmas flowers. No blue ribbons. And not one strand of garland or strings of beads of any color. Out of three aisles of Christmas decorations, they had only one thing I wanted, or actually would settle for, a blue glass bell that had been hanging as an odd ball with the vomit green selection.

I certainly hope that blue Christmas decorations haven’t gone the way of the dodo and I’ll have better luck with Target or Home Depot.

It is interesting that there is a very small selection of decorations at Wal-Mart. Not that it means anything in particular, but Wal-Mart caters mostly to a particular demographic. Out of all the decorations I have, I never bought any of it from a department store. I am pretty cheap when it comes to that kind of thing; especially since I bought most of it as a single mom making not very much money many moons ago. I built up my holiday decoration stash over time. But I still bought some each Christmas.

I wonder if the lack of choice in decorations means that people may not really be in the mood; a sentiment I can certainly identify with. The last few years I just threw whatever I had on the tree. Last year in particular, the tree came up from the basement, but I never bothered to decorate it. Our spirits were dampened by the fact that we had nothing to put under the tree; and I didn’t want the glowing reminder of how difficult managing our way through life had become.

We still will not have much for under the tree this year. But my first day back to work will be the day after Christmas and we finally have a light at the end of the tunnel. And so I am in much better spirits, looking forward to better days to come.

[Update:]

My experience was nearly identical at Target, although the selection was a little better. They had no blue, except for an Americana cardboard star ornament that had dark blue as its main color. They wanted $5 for it so I passed it up. They did have some garland, three shelf spaces for it, but not like the white I’ve used; so I was also out of luck there.

The last time I looked for decorations at Target was in 2007. Back then I was never one to decorate early, although not quite as late as this year. And I remember an entire aisle being dedicated to tinsel and bead garland, and tree skirts. So I think that now they simply didn’t put as much stuff out as they have in the past. My guess would be that it is in the area of about half as much as in previous years.

Perhaps we should rename the extraordinary effects of monetary policy during the Great Recession as “The Grinch Effect”.

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