It Really Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.
We probably arrived at the tree lot at the busiest possible time, which is rare for us, but it only took 30 seconds. First: Fluffy or Noble? This year we voted fluffy. Max picked up one 6 footer and we agreed it was too narrow. We grabbed the one next to it and ta-da we had our tree.
I guess this isn't the most riveting news. It's happening everywhere, just about. Families going to tree lots. People driving around with plastic netted evergreens tied to their rooftops, like hunters returning from a woodland safari. Suburban, mundane... whatever. When that first whiff of pine hits my senses I am a child again. I feel tingly and optimistic. I feel connected to every Christmas past and holiday gathering ever. I want to open ornament boxes and reunite myself with dear memories and the tangible evidence our lives, our evolving, growing lives. And I can already anticipate the warm and quiet pleasure of waking early, plugging in the lights and reflecting in the soft, flickering glow.
There is one deciduous tree here at Garage Mahal, and it dropped a lot of leaves during our recent rain. Alex asked if he could rake them. Isn't that sweet? The landlord has gardeners come in to do all the mowing/blowing/cutting/raking of the postage stamp yard. Gardening and yardwork has become so foreign, so distant a memory, that raking leaves is like an honor and privilege. William and Alex bartered and debated over who could use the rake first. Our good leaf rake disappeared in one of the moves, so they are stuck wrestling for use of the heavy gravel rake.
So, inside, the tree is hung with blue lights. Yes, blue. It's covered in homemade ornaments and store bought ornaments and ornaments that the cat keeps batting to the floor. And outside the yard is raked, the sky's been blue and the nights cold. I may even find the ambition to hang a string of lights around the front gate. I found some of the decorations we put around the house, like the caroling snowmen and a stuffed Santa... the rest is still packed, and hiding somewhere in the garage. The Nativity. The little toys we use to count for Advent. The multi-colored strings of light.
We even made salt dough, and Max and Maria cut ornaments. We'll paint the ornaments some time this week. I think we'll work on greeting cards too. Among my family and friends, I am not always sure who's reading, but if you are peeking at Chickenblog today... know that I am thinking of you and hoping you are healthy, safe, and enjoying the tangible and intangible signs of the season... the whiffs of pine and the feeling that we are connected to one another, dear and loved. I have happy holiday, and merry wishes for all. And now I am going to plug in those lights and be glad.