It was a rude re-entry for me. It is hard to leave Paradise, hard to come home to the Ruins, and really hard to forget my last, very bad piece of mahi mahi. I believe it had percolated in the sun for a bit, and my entire system of digestion and equilibrium was affected. Note to self: do not feel virtuous selecting fish on a plane. My last meal on the ground was macaroni and cheese, and somehow I chipped my front tooth eating that. This may portend a rough week for me, and that is a shame, because it is the week I open up Janet’s Christmas craziness.
It will be harder this year to over decorate, since my rooms are all in a state of disorder. All the places I put my Santas and choirsters and snowmen have evaporated as I exiled my furniture to welcome my parents’ stuff. Mom was a Christmas nut, but I am Mom on steroids. Steve has no use for any of my wretched excess, so I am alone in the carting, embellishing, decorating, illuminating and enjoying. So far he has taken my new artificial tree out of the box and set it into the stand. That is about all I can hope for. I decorated the front porch with garland, wreaths and lights, and he was very tickled that he escaped it. His podcasts are still an hour, but the post podcast meetings are taking on a life of their own. He will not come upstairs until I have finished my daily tasks. Today I put lights on my tree- 1000 of them- can you see it from your house? I have a prelit tree that I have fought for years, and two years ago I attempted to reverse the current to fix the outages. It was a mistake. The bulbs turned black, and all went out. I finally decided to just get a plain old fake tree and light it myself. My technique was to buy 20 strands of 50 lights each- the cheapest I could find. When a string goes bad, it is banished. I played around with the LED lights, and my friend Bob Borgeson even sent me a sample to try- but they are not quite right yet. Last year, they were too white, this year, they are too yellow. In the mean time, I am happy with the illumination. I have about a zillion ornaments on this tree. At this time of year, I prefer the gaudy and glittery to the traditional. If there is holographic glitter on an ornament, it runs to my house.
My main tree sits in the doorway between my empty living room, and my semi-disarrayed family room. It requires 360 degrees of decoration, despite the fact that there is only a piano bench to sit upon and admire it from in the living room. Still, I was consumed for almost 5 hours today, and it looks beautiful. I always try to get Steve to sleep by it, and he only said “yes” once, in the early, suck-up part of our time together. One year I put a little tree in our bedroom, and he was not pleased. If the TV was on, it distracted, and once he turned the TV off, he couldn’t sleep in its glow. He really is the Grinch.
Still to come: My silver holographic tree for the sun room, and perhaps a tree for podcast central. I certainly have the decorations from Christmases past. I used to change my tree every year, and I have had trouble throwing anything out. The podcasters may get my Halloween black tree with my 101 Dalmations ornaments from McDonald’s and black and white check bows. That might be too “chick” for them, but it would be more appropriate than my ABC themed tree from the kids’ youth, or the gingerbread tree, featuring gingerbread men I cut from grocery bags, stuffed with quilt batting, and laced with green twine. Where did I find time for such stuff? I actually threw out ornaments today that were missing parts. I may need to go deeper. I am promising Steve to stay a little reserved this year, but I cannot say when I will run out of decorating zest.
December kicked off last year with the demise of Steve’s time at CBS. He wanted a real tree, he got one. He was sad, so he drifted to Florida for some of my pre-Christmas chaos. Whatever he wanted, he got. When we dragged the naked, needle free tree that he axed out of some forest while being bitten by a spider- he decided that I could set the parameters for Christmas. HIs grumpiness insulates him from much participation. He will not eclipse my Christmas merriment! This year he hopes to zig to Florida in early January- have podcast, will travel. I am hopeful that he will be here long enough to shove the stuff back into the attic. The possibility that I will be alone with 40 bins of Christmas stuff, a bad knee, and a pull down attic stairway tempers my delusions of grandeur. It also makes me consider the wisdom of styrofoam decorations.
Tomorrow I will give the decorating a rest and hit the One of a Kind
art show at the Merchandise Mart. It is a treasure trove of beautiful things, none of which I need, or which would be giftable for the boys. The part of Christmas that I love the most is the sparkle; I don’t need to buy it, but I love to see it. Having surveyed the bins and bins of Christmas past, I will not even be tempted to add one Christmas decoration. That is a promise I can keep!
I will post continuing pictures of my descent into madness. I will also report on the One of a Kind Show, which continues through the weekend. Come to my house for the holidays!