At first, C. and I worked on not-the-tree. We draped the greens over the mantel and on the front wall out front. And I got carried away with the idea of encircling the light post. It was really too thick a garland of greens for that task, but I managed anyway.
And then we moved furniture to clear the space for the tree, and brought it in.
So it wasn't a Charlie Brown tree. It did have its problem. The trunk was curved, so it was hard adjust the tree to appear straight. It was shorter than the ones that Bébé normally buys. Barbar would have been pleased.
I do the lights. It means I can be lazy when everyone is putting on ornaments, and not feel guiilty. It means I get to be with the tree without a crowd, since all the kids get shooed away while the lights are spread on the floor.
Finding the lights meant opening the box with stockings in it. They are now hung over the fireplace. I used to not understand about labels on Christmas boxes not matching the contents. Well, really, I still don't understand it, but now it's true at our house, too.
While Bébé was testing the lights and determining that he needed to go out for more, I took some time out from the melee of children decorating with abandon, to play some of the Christmas carols that are kept in another of the boxes marked "lights". I found that I can still reliably plunk out the soprano and alto lines of the traditional carols. But then, they're typically in an easy rhythm, with predictable chords. Even if I can only play the right hand part...
I found the names of the wise men, written as parts for the singing of "We Three Kings"": Melchior, Caspar & Balthazar. And some dude named Tutti. Okay, so I really *do* know that Tutti means all three sing. But it makes a cute joke. And I think I should make an effort to find an extra wise man to name "Tutti" for at least one of our four nativity scenes. (We don't actually set-up all of them. Usually just the crystal one and the small one with the wooden stable. )
Bébé went out for more lights. Only two strings were good, and both are multiple-option effects ones. He has powered ornaments that he wanted to plug in to an always-on string. He looked for all white, but they only had multi-color. And then the darned thing ended up having sockets too small for the power attachments for the ornaments. Sigh. But the two strings alone were plenty of light for the tree.
I took a sandwich break, which evolved through watching the kids eat, to helping Brody with Mac OS in the basement. He's a Windows user. He was trying to look at some pictures that had been emailed to him. I found him Stuffit Expander to handle the zip file, but she'd sent the pictures in some filetype (.ctf) that we couldn't find any software to open correctly.
But I got an idea of what's up, from the file names, and C. confirmed it in hushed conversation later. Tomorrow, Brody is taking his family to pick up a Cairn Terrier puppy. They've run out of excuses -- Scooter is potty trained now, and they thought it would help add some positive energy into the first Christmas without Barbar.
When I came back up out of the basement, the kids had turned the tree into a thing of beauty. Glittering garlands, shiny glass balls, and so many, many individual ornaments that have collected over the years. The tree is beautiful, and there is Christmas spread all over the house.
Brody and C. had a sitter to be home for, and we had dogs to take care of. So we headed to our separate homes. The boys and I played Mama Mia and played with the dogs and fed them their dinner, and all, and now we've parted in the house, all staring at computer screens. I find myself already sleepy, but that's no mystery -- I've stayed up too late, too many nights this week.
Tomorrow we'll tackle the house and straighten it up again (just a few days of light use, really), and then maybe get back to that list.
I've gotten everything on my shopping list, except stocking stuffers, so now Christmas is all at home: cleaning house, baking cookies, creating gifts, wrapping gifts, and decorating our own tree.
This is looking to be a good holiday season.