There’s a naked Christmas tree in our family room…

Dada and TGG went on an outing this morning and it rained the whole time they were away.  It rained as soon as they got back.  J and I spent a good long time cleaning, moving furniture and staring out the window watching it rain.  And then it stopped…

The whole family climbed into the van and, having thoroughly discussed the fact that the tree would be brought home and left overnight on the back porch to drip-dry, arrived at the store to find that the trees were not exposed to the rain.  Not only did we not have to leave it outside, we also didn’t have to tie it to the roof rack to bring it home.  For thirty dollars (twenty less than we’d saved) we got a tree that was reportedly 6 to 7 feet tall and which, upon being brought into the living room, proved to be closer to 8 feet tall.

We haven’t done a thing to it other than place it on the stand, give it water and let it relax.  As soon as we went up to the kitchen to cook dinner, J closed the door behind us and has spent the better part of the evening singing to the naked tree.  When we had the audacity to open the door to call him for dinner, he ran upstairs and closed the door behind him.  When we went downstairs to check how well the tree is unfurling from it’s “at the store” position, J impatiently allowed us to do a quick inspection and then shooed us out…

So…to summarize: the family room is J’s domain.  The couch is J’s.  The Christmas tree, because it is in the family room and across the way from the couch, is J’s.  End of story.

I brought the plug for the remote control that will take care of “did you turn off the Christmas tree lights?” for us.  J inspected it over my shoulder, approved perfunctorily, took it out of my hand and, with a sharp BYE, sent me out of the room.  I announced that I have to organize the Man Closet tomorrow, and J looked at me with a similar look as the one Gandalf uses when he says “none shall pass.”  The only reason he backed off a bit was because I said “I am the only one who knows where the tree lights are, and I’m not afraid to withhold them until you cooperate.”  Christmas tree light withholding…a powerful tool!

The whole family room smells like it’s supposed to…like a Christmas tree.  We inspected it already and noted an absence of squirrels and other wildlife, but a heavy population of dry leaves from other trees.  The conclusion?  It was windy when the tree was cut down and transported to the store.  The dry leaves stay there…to us they are decorations, just like the tag…we’re folksy that way.  Miss Zelda ran down the stairs to inspect the tall structure that she will surely try to climb tomorrow at one point or another; this will resolve the issue of “there’s no wildlife on the tree.”  Miss Pipa walked up to it, gave it a disdainful look and walked away; this will change as soon as we put the Abominable Snowman action figure under it…then she will scoot with a horrified look on her little feline face.

All is normal and on track.  People are making plans, putting ruses in motion and getting pranks ready for the Twelve Days.  Tomorrow I will pop sufficient amounts of popcorn to string for the tree, and then we will let it go just a little stale so it’s easier to work with…  While we put the lights the tree, we’ll eat churros and drink hot chocolate (if it’s cold, which it might not be…the weather has not been cooperating at all!)

And with that, my friends, Saturday is dwindling to nothingness, and we move on to Sunday.  Lots to do, lots to do, and excitement is starting to seep into the whole house along with the strong scent of pine and the jingling of bells.  By our count, we have one Christmas card to our name; we have a running wager that says two more by next Friday…but, things being what they are around these parts, we have a box full of cards received over the past thirteen years to augment this year’s arrivals.  As far as we’re concerned, it doesn’t matter when your Christmas spirit came from…it just matters that you received it at one point or another…

No…that’s not cheating…

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