Monday, December 13, 2010

Are We Festive Yet?

Well. We are trying.

I have to admit that I dearly lovely my Christmas decorations. My husband doesn't get it but I just do my own thing. I am not a terribly picky person but I am, let's say....a pain in the ass about my Christmas tree. I don't go for huge, my house won't hold it and I don't go for "decorator" that's not my style. The one rule I follow is color coordination. I use green, red, white and silver. After that if I like it I cram it all on the tree. I have everything from Waterford crystal to the dollar store. Some lovely things that were my mothers and everything the kids ever made in preschool. Luckily my kids were brainwashed early. They knew the color code and didn't vary from it. Littlest tries to talk me into leaving them off every year but they are going on that tree, along with the 3 babies first Christmas ornaments.
 But the thing I am truly inflexible about is the tree.
We get a fresh one and every year I drive my husband out of his mind picking through every tree looking for one that is perfect. Literally. It had to be symmetrical. It has to be full. It can't have holes. The top has to have a sturdy perfectly straight tip to hold the heavy slip on star my parents gave us. We always start the weekend after Thanksgiving and this year my husband slipped out early and went to pick it out himself. I waited at home worrying about what he would return with. What if it was too skinny? What if the top wasn't right? Maybe I should have insisted on going.  Eventually he returned and cut the net and out spread....A Perfect Tree. It was gorgeous. The most perfect tree we have found in years. Everything about it was just right. I was beside myself with joy. Littlest and I decorated our hearts out and have been basking in the beauty of our handiwork. Why the star was even tilting which you may know is a look I've been going for lately. Until this weekend when something became apparent. An excess of needles littering the floor. I ran my hand along a branch. A veritable downpour. I had noticed this tree seemed to be slow on sucking up the water. We had the end cut properly and had checked it regularly but the level had only seemed to fall within the last week and when I checked it was still full at the level I had filled it to 2 days before. My decorating isn't the only reason this tree looks like a mess. The color was fading. The branches were twisting and drooping. Some were becoming bare.
 The Perfect, Beautiful,  Tree of all trees ......


I guess we could have limped it along but the fire extinguisher sitting alongside it, just in case,  may have ruined the overall theme. Despite it's being an appropriate bright seasonal red.

My husband grumbled and said he wasn't paying for another tree. He finally asked if I was willing to sacrifice my gift for another tree, to which the answer was yes. Because I have a lot of stuff but I only have Christmas a few weeks a year. So off we go on Sunday hoping for the best. Which was no longer available among the 20 or so trees left in the tent. Most of which were in about the same shape as the one at home. When the attendant asked if we needed help my husband said he didn't know as we were replacing one we bought there recently that was inferior.  Only he didn't use the word inferior, he used a different word that I thought wasn't very reflective of the holiday spirit,  that prompted the man to knock $20.00 off whatever we picked out.  There really wasn't much choice. Basically one tree was still fresh and green and healthy looking. It was small. It had a couple holes. It was not exactly symmetrical. It did have a sturdy straight top...that was devoid of needles. But it was alive and that was our priority. Especially after the look I got from my husband when I mumbled something about looking somewhere else. Now this truly was a blessing because when he went inside to pay, the manager approached and asked about the tree and told the cashier to take another 50% off so we got the tree for ten bucks. I'd say that's a deal. At least if you ignore the part where we paid  for the 1st tree so ultimately my lumpy little tree cost us more than a 6'+ perfect tree.
 But we will feel blessed to have a tree at all, won't we? Yes. Since I offered to skip getting a present this year in order to get another tree. So when we left my husband said," $10.00 isn't bad. Hey, I just got off real easy on your present this year. " MmmHmmm.....
Then he said,"what do you actually want?" And I said, "I don't know, maybe some boots." And then he said, "I don't like you in boots." (Note: I WAS WEARING BOOTS WHEN I MET HIM!) And then I said, "I like boots and they are making pants legs more narrow now and when I wear the shoes you like they are too clunky and it makes me look like I have Minnie Mouse feet and Stacy & Clinton say that woman in their forties shouldn't run around in white tennis shoes all the time." And then...he didn't say anything else.

Anyway...I took it home and took the other tree apart and proceeded to start over. Littlest took a look and said, "Mom, you know there is no way you are going to be able to fit all those ornaments on that little tree don't you?"

What? Ha! You just watch me.
Oh yeah. Every last one one.
And star is even tilting. I just left the extra long tip intact and the star reaches almost as high. Or looks like it if you're short like me anyway. It's perfect. It reminds me of a  little rocket about to take off.

Now I wasn't going to do a photo shoot of my Christmas decor because I don't like to show off my insane overdecorating fetish  my wondrous decorating skills but when I was working on this clutter little scene I like to create with  more crap I collect some of my Winter Silhouettes collection......

I had to stop because some people were annoying me wanted dinner and when I came back I found that some unexpected guests had joined the party.

Aragorn and Legolas always like to be a part of the holiday festivities.

Not to be outdone, Harry Potter apparently took part in a Christmas Pageant...
Because I'm sure he's not abducting the baby Jesus....right?

In other news.....

To add to our week our well pump has been breaking piece by piece for the last 4 days and whether we have water or not is always an adventure. We weren't expecting the expense of course at this time of year but if I get a $10.00 tree for Christmas I guess my husband gets a new well pump and switch.

It's a family gift really. Running water.

Over a week ago a strange cat showed up at my house. He was gorgeous. A huge neutered male Tabby who was in excellent condition. He was a 6 toed Hemingway that was obviously a lost house pet. He was starving and it was freezing and we took him in and began searching for owners. Nothing. He had no collar, we had him scanned and there is no chip. No signs, nothing in the paper. Animal control had no reports but they asked if we would hold him or if they should come get him. He was pretty cool and we said we would hold him. If he had been dumped we were willing to keep him. Within a week we realized some things. He is mean as hell. He bites and scratches. He doesn't like other cat's..or dogs..or people. He shreds furniture. As soon as he uses the cat box he starts screaming until you clean it. Gee, I wonder why no one was desperately searching for this cat?
But, we still thought he was cool and we figured we might keep him if he isn't claimed so we decided to let him stay rather than turn him into Animal Control because we did volunteer to keep an eye on him. Until yesterday when I left him on the second story deck to get some fresh air and apparently the threat of death was better than us and he took a dive off and made a run for it. What do you want to bet they realize they lost their cat tomorrow? Truly, it's unusually cold and I hope the poor thing gets back here or was just taking a vacation and went home. We shall see.

Other than that we have been having a treat for me which is record cold weather in my area. I have been extremely busy and haven't had much time for blog world but I honestly have been spending most of my free time, comfy on my couch, drinking hot tea and enjoying my Christmas decorations. It's just so cozy that I don't even want to go out. Which is why I still have not done my Christmas Shopping. Nothing. I don't shop online unless I'm desperate and my kids are way more blase' about their gifts than when they were little. They won't write a list. I don't know what they want. I was thinking of going this morning, until I reached down and pulled something that caused an excruciating nerve pain in my lower back and I pretty much haven't moved a lot since. I was planning on finishing this post this morning and the only reason I'm biting the bullet through it now is to keep myself alert till Mid gets off work because I have to pick her up. I'm rambling because I'm tired...anyway... I guess I'll shop eventually. For the time being I'm plenty festive just enjoying my Rocket Tree. And reminding myself. To remember that the tree isn't what it's about. The decorations aren't what it's about. The shopping and gifts aren't what it's all about.

We are blessed with things as simple as running water.
 We are blessed to have room to offer at our inn. Even if a perilous death defying plunge is more acceptable to some guests. We are blessed that the babe was born...for us and all our foolishness.
If Christmas is your thing this is what it's all about. Joy and Peace to You!
If not... I wish You Joy and Peace wherever you find it : )

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  1. I enjoyed your post (and your humor)so much this evening-if we were neighbors you can bet I would be driving you out to get a new tree because Christmas is my thing too(I'm a Christmas baby-born on the 24th.) I decorate my house with two trees-one upstairs that has all that is dear to me, and that is fake, and one downstairs for the kids that is real. I also have my Santa that's the size of a toddler, my welcome snow man, and poinsettias strung with lights. And like you I bask in the lights of either tree day or night (the lights are always on...) Enjoy your tree!

  2. Love the decorations. WE too have a tradition of going out and cutting down our own "perfect" non-holy tree.

    Great post!

  3. oh, christmas tree, oh christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches
    oh, MOPG, oh MOPG, how lovely are thy postings
    not only when tis happy times
    but also when then kitties whine
    oh MOPG, oh MOPG, how lovely are thy postings!

    (please teach me how to do the crossed off letters thing because everyone in the world knows how to do it but me!)

    i love you for putting linus on. i love you for accepting your 10 dollar charlie brown tree and using it anyway. i think that's how i look to God.. like a ten dollar wobbly tree that he's willing to hang his pretty decorations on anyway.

    i love you for this line: Gee, I wonder why no one was desperately searching for this cat?

    Merry Christmas friend!

    also, i must tell you (in case it becomes significant later) that my word verification is: ovensit

  4. I love your tree. I liked the dead one too. The colors are really gorgeous. I was cracking up about your husband going to get the tree & you anxiously awaiting. I decorated but hubby didn't bring out all the boxes so I'm leaving things as is. I see why no one is looking for the cat. Can't wait to see if he comes back or not.

  5. I loved this.

    Yes, with gratitude for the babe's birth, for our foolishness.

  6. Susan: Happy Christmas Birthday! I inherited my decorating compulsion from my dad, along with a toddler sized santa: )

    KittyCat: Cutting down your own would really be cool. But the trees I like don't grow where I live!

    Elissa: Oh Elissa, Oh Elissa, How I adore your comments ; )

    Nicole: The cat still hasn't come back! I actually restrained myself this year and skipped things like the stair garland because of the puppy.

    Empress: We really do have to be grateful he actually showed up : )

  7. In my old life when I lived in a chilly climate we had real trees. Now that I live in sunny Arizona I moved onto to a fake one. The sacrifice I make to have a tree for more then 45 minutes. Perhaps I need to start mainline Pine Sol.

  8. Love the trees, especially the dead one. Reminds me of some of ours over the years. And where did you get the Lord of the Rings decorations? I think I need those.

    Hope the cat is OK. We too had a grumpy cat come into our lives. That was 16 years ago and now our antisocial kitty is part of the family.

  9. Mrs. Tuna: I sometimes think about getting a fake one. Mostly when my ornaments keep falling off like little Christmas bombs with no warning!But I love the smell.

    Accidental Expert: The dead tree is still on my back porch where I can admire it: ) Aragorn and Legolas are part of the family and can always be found somewhere!
    The kitty has a hurt paw from the jump but we think he will be ok. He's being a little more lovable after being out in 20 degrees for 2 days with a hurt paw and no food!

  10. Oh my goodness, RIP perfect tree. The littler one looks good too. Hilarious about your rogue cat. :-)

    And Harry waving his wand for baby Jesus, well that's just precious. Lol. Love all the action figures.

    Merry Christmas!

  11. Angelia: I still can't figure out why, as a mom of 3 daughters to begin with, one grown and 2 in high school, I am surrounded by action figures!

  12. haha, oh my, your poor dead tree! I have a real tree this year and so does my best friend, we were talking about how the pine needles keep falling off last night and both of our boyfriends were like 'well its because we forget to water it' to whcih we were both very shocked, because apparently we both forgot our brains this christmas and didnt realise plants need hydration to live

    im glad to see lord of the rings and harry potter are enjoying christmas, though im sad not to see lord voldy handing out threateningly guarding your perfectly presented tree

    I understand your post above about the cat now too, he sounds mean.. my cat is pretty evil at times but i suppose its worth it.. she also does that screaming thing with the cat litter, and if i dont give in to her demands she starts scratching my freshly painted walls until i bow down to her.. animals eh?

  13. Milk-2Sugars: I know, I have-had 4 cats already and the Evil position was already filled. But he really is a beauty and he's starting to calm down...a little bit.


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