Yesterday I put up all our Christmas decorations. A major feat for me and here’s why:
Entering the dark recesses below the steps is a nerve-wracking experience. I’m afraid of dark places, close places, and especially of the eight-legged creatures that inhabit these areas. Knowing I had no choice if we were to have our home decorated for Christmas, I pushed past the fears and lugged out seven large tote bins and the heavy pre-lit tree. Hurdle one accomplished.
The tree needed to go upstairs. Too heavy, big, and awkward for me to carry. I pushed and pulled to get it to the first landing with the additional weight of our overly curious and helpful cat, Templeton. I stared at the remaining steps, shooed the cat away, and began pushing it up, up, up…realized I was about to lose grip and took a huge deep breath and picked up the box and ran up the rest of the stairs, plopping it onto the floor.
Putting together a pre-lit tree once a year is like solving a puzzle…a difficult puzzle. Last year, when I took the tree down, I put little round orange stickies on the pieces, numbering them to make the task easier this year. Yeah, right. Who knew those stickies wouldn’t stick? Yeah, a few were still on, but most of them were now decorating the tree needles. Not one to give up on a challenge, I took off my now sweaty long-sleeved shirt, donned a light-weight t-shirt and went to work. After doing my best guess at solving the solution, I looked for a place to plug in the tree to test it…a new challenge.
I sent hubby on an errand to find an extension cord while I moved the loveseat to expose the…already filled plug receptacle. Oh, yeah, the addition of a new DVR receiver this year. Okay. Turning I stared at the only place I knew would have an open receptacle…behind the sofa. The sofa with two recliners built in. The too heavy to move sofa. Our living room is very small. I’m thinking roughly twelve by fourteen. And it’s filled with furniture: a recliner, the dreaded heavy sofa, a loveseat, a coffee table, an end table, a corner curio cabinet, an antique corner table, and a 32-inch television on a t.v. stand housing multiple DVDs, a player, and a DVR cable box. Not to be daunted, I set about inching things out of the way and tugging, tugging, tugging, to move the sofa out far enough that I could hang over the back with my feet dangling above the sofa cushions to plug in the extension cord. Success!! Plugged in the tree, and it didn’t work. By now, my t-shirt was getting a little damp. Rested on the sofa and stared at the tree. Five minutes later I tackled the puzzle again and now the tree lights worked.
The cats were ecstatic. Time to get the water bottle to spray their sneaky little hides from chewing on the tree needles. At which time hubby remarked that the branches needed to be pulled and prodded into looking like a tree. Now before you go getting all upset at hubby for not helping…he has COPD/emphysema and is on oxygen. He cannot do the heavy things any longer so his role is now supervisor. I do not take well to being supervised, especially when the comments aren’t helpful. Duh, like I didn’t know I still had to “beautify” the tree? Which was the next step…an hour long step to make the tree look like a TREE.
At this time, I needed a lunch break. Hubby and I headed to Wendy’s for a quick lunch. An hour and a half later, after a surprise and really nice conversation with a man sitting next to us, we made it home. Sigh. Next, I carried up the box of ornaments and like an artist assessing all areas of my subject, turned the ordinary tree into magnificence…at least my supervisor praised it as such.
Next came emptying the tote boxes and putting them all back under the (now darker than ever) recess beneath the steps. Time to tackle the outside lights before darkness descended. Misty rain and dropping temperatures do not make for a good climate to put up outside lights…but with hubby’s assistance I managed to put up two wreaths, decorate the mailbox, put up the Christmas flag, string lights on the trellis and around the front door. The trellis proved to present a dilemma. Neither of us could figure out how to get the lights on all the hooks and outline the trellis. At least five times we strung them, removed them and restrung them before we came up with a successful result. My fingers were aching and so cold when we finished…in the dark a couple of hours later. At which time, I informed hubby we were going out to eat since it was already 6:30pm.
With a full belly, I finished decorating the house which now only involved the nativity scene on the mantle, Santa figurines, snowmen, teddy bears, throws, and floral candle displays.
All of this I did because I love to see my grandchildren’s smiles and I know our kids and their families would be saddened if we didn’t decorate for the holidays. Oh, and yes, because after it’s all done, I love looking at the festive trimmings. My heart is filled with joy, love, and anticipation.
And the water bottle is handy to banish the cats from climbing into the tree and destroying it…if we catch them.
The house looks great this morning…well, except that the entire house needs cleaning now…but today is another day.