Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bah Humbug! NOT!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

And well it should, at least at our house.  Last weekend, while the kids were home for Thanksgiving, we went out on our annual tree-cutting expedition to find this year’s "most perfect tree."  Thanksgiving weekend seems too early to me, but we really wanted to have the annual tree trimming party while Eric and Ellen were home which won’t happen again until just before Christmas.  So early or not, the tree is up, decorated, and is, as all Christmas trees are, magnificent.

We always cut our own tree at a local tree farm, and in the past, the process has been long and painstaking.  Typically, we have to weigh the merits of various species:  White Pine? (full and lush, but ornaments tend to slide off) , Blue Spruce? (lovely, but the sharp needles hurt), Douglas Fir? (overall nice, but can be sparsely branched).  Then, once that decision is made, we do a thorough search for the best specimen.  A tree must be tall and full, have no bare spots, have straight trunk, and be symmetric.  In some years, this search has taken quite some time.   This year, Eric walked up to the first tree he saw and said, “How about this one?”  No doubt, it was an excellent tree.  We looked at each other in disbelief.  There was no way we could take the first tree we saw.  So we looked at its next door neighbor.  It was equally satisfactory, as was the next one we looked at.  I suggested that we go look at the spruces, but since it was a very cold and windy day, Ellen said, “You know, I am fine with these.”  The wind picked up and we all agreed the third tree we saw would be perfect.  Al cut it down; the boys carried it to the checkout, and we were done.  Ten minutes, arrival to departure.   The next day, we decorated it with our somewhat odd and eclectic mix of ornaments.  And like I said, it is magnificent.

Not all of the holiday preparations have been so smooth.  Like everyone I know, I have been overly busy lately and I am starting to feel tired and run down.   Maybe that is why I have been having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit.   Or maybe I am missing the kids.  Whatever the reason, yesterday was the day to decorate the rest of the house and I was pretty crabby about it.  I usually love the process of unwrapping and setting out all the Christmas stuff, but to be honest, this year it just felt like a chore.  A rather big chore. 

But, our schedules are getting pretty full and there really wouldn't be another time.

And, unfortunately, Christmas isn’t going to wait until I am in the mood for it. 

So, out came the Christmas village.   Out came the silk greens, the wreaths, the candles, and the candy dishes.  At one point, I said to Al, “Maybe we should just have the tree this year.  Do we really need the rest of this stuff?”  He replied that either way was ok with him, although I could tell he didn’t mean it.   So, out came the holiday linens.  Out came the gumdrop tree.  Out came Mom’s Santa collection and her Christmas bells.  Out came the tabletop trees for the upstairs hall and the basement family room. Out it all came.  It took all day, well into the evening.

It wasn’t until the job was done and the lights were lit that I felt my crankiness start to dissipate. It is nice to have all the "stuff" around again in preparation for the holidays. Christmas is beginning to do its magic again, bringing light to the darkest season of the year and even brightening up my run-down, worn-out crabby mood.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It is even starting to feel that way. 

Today I am grateful for twinkling lights in the dark times of year.

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