oh sleep deprived christmas tree...

christmas star 2007Okay, so the tree wasn't actually sleep deprived... but the two people putting it together and decorating it were...

For future reference, trimming the tree on four hours sleep ISN'T the best plan.

But nobody cried, nobody lost an eye or other functional body part, nobody got strangled with lengths of Christmas lights (although actually I nearly strangled the tree with them) so I think, all in all, we didn't do too badly.

I actually think that it was more that neither of us had the energy to be bothered fighting about stuff...

Particularly because my brain wasn't firing on all cylinders I ended up going back to my routine of writing notes on boxes... and, you know, once again there were notes that appeared in places that I don't remember writing (that could have been because it was during the "putting away" stage in January, rather than the getting out stage though).

I made a note to start attaching the branches to the tree from the bottom up (after starting from the top and realising that that was never going to work... as well as having to change the note, since I wrote one version saying "top down" before I started)... but possibly the biggest note went on one of the boxes of lights.

finshed tree 2007Now I know that last year we were a set of lights down on previous years, and we did have trouble with the sets we were using at the time. And we must have bought two new boxes of lights during the post Christmas sales... 100 light sets... I don't remember off the top of my head what our previous sets have been, but I'm pretty sure they weren't that big... 75's maybe, or 50's... but whether it was the new lights, or the lack of sleep, or what, I don't know, but we could NOT made the lights arrange themselves pleasingly... or, rather, we could... but then were were left with about 15 lights at the end of the string that were basically hanging off the edge of the tree. Eventually I kind of found a system... which may need some refining to make it work a little better, but the bottom of the tree (especially at the back) is a little "light heavy" (oxymoron anyone?)... stoopid lights...

I also wasn't a happy boy when one of the lights got slightly knocked in it's housing causing the whole string to go out, and meaning that we had to pull the whole thing off the tree and check every single last light before we found the one that was at fault. Grrr...

I also don't think that this was my best year on bauble detail... partially because I really didn't want to bend down, so I think the lower branches may have gotten a little short changed... but in part because I stopped really being bothered about "colours near similar colours"... there's only so much you can guard against that before you start going nutso.

We did notice a "problem" with that particular tree though... it's quite a dark colour... although when we took a brief sidetrip into Myer at Elizabeth, ALL the trees that aren't white or fiber optic are kind of that dark. But Ma's lounge is probably the darkest room in the house... it faces east, but only gets a little bit of morning light... and doesn't have that much in the way of windows. Then you get the darker (but also reflective) baubles on there, and it's really quite a dark tree, moreso without the tinsel though.

And we were lamenting the fact that you just CANNOT buy boxes of plain coloured glass baubles anymore. I remember when I was younger they had boxes and boxes and boxes of them... but now it's all "things that look like stuff" or "fashion colours" or "patterns" or "unbreakable baubles"... now I ask you... where's the fun in unbreakable baubles! Pffffft!

I was highly thankful when it came to "tinsel time" though, given the system that I worked out the year before last... lay it and walk away... although I'm not sure I got that right either... but Ma was happy with it, and she has to live with the tree, not me.

Oh, one thing we did do before we started putting baubles on the tree was take photos of each of the boxes full of decorations, and while we were in Elizabeth we got them printed out in the Digital Photo Booth thing in Big W, so we'll be able to attach said photo to said box... even though Ma has written on the boxes what a lot of them are... and I did realise about halfway through that what we really should have done was taken a super closeup shot of the bauble, specifically the collar at the top, since I think those are the bits that sometimes confuse us when we're putting stuff away. We'll have to see how they work out (if at all), not only as guides, but just as photos, since Ma was supposed to be picking them up this morning.

So after the trip to Elizabeth once the tree was all up and dressed, we came back and started on some of the present wrapping.

That did NOT start off well...

Normally we can't move for boxes and bags and this and that and the other... but it looks like in previous Post Christmas buying situations Ma has always gone "Oh no, we have enough bags"... which is both true AND a lie at the same time. We do have a lot of bags... but the vast majority of the bags we have are ones that we give ourselves and each other, because we like the bags and don't want to give them away to other people... so our supply of "attractive and interesting bags for people who aren't us" is actually pretty fuckin slim. So of course, when we tried to find something to put the handbags for Princess T and Miss Oh-livia in... no such luck!

Which of course meant that we were only at the first present wrapping option and I was already about to have a screaming tantrum on the floor. So instead we ended up wrapping a bunch of other fairly random stuff until we kind of got into the groove of things.

I do have to say "Damn you Woolworths Fresh Magazine Christmas Bumper Issue and your article on Twelve Ways of Christmas... damn you to hell!"... they had this picture where they've taken a parcel, wrapped it in plain coloured paper (they actually used brown paper, which is something Ma and I have been threatening for YEARS and may actually have to do now) and then cutting a strip of fancier paper then wrapping that around the present, followed by ribbon and the usual stuff... so, as if the presents that Ma and I come up with weren't hard enough to get into as it was... now you're going to need a crowbar and possibly a small stick of plastic explosive to get into them. Damn but they look pretty though! I'm going to have to remember to take some photos of them all either when I go down there for the Goodie Making... or else on Christmas morning when everything is there.

I was also finally able to see just what I'd gotten together for J's basket... hehehehe... scary! On the downside though, Ma tried using her "goo remover" on the plastic case of the little VW Bug I bought him, and it turned out that the plastic in question is one of those plastics that reacts badly to the goo remover and has warped (well, kinda turned rougher and opaque)... luckily I still have the receipt for it, so we'll see if we can't get a new one... or a new plastic case at least.

And after all that fussing and messing about looking for giant bags for B's painting... we ended up just doing Princess and Delicate in wrapping paper and ribbon... actually thanks to the very cool Ikea ribbon we bought I managed to pick out four VERY similar colours in ribbon to the ones that actually make up the Princess painting... plus the paper is silver, which matches the silver text.

There was a lot of that going on yesterday to be honest... much matching of not only paper (or bag) and ribbon and gift tag and little random Christmas decoration thing (which I'm now loving as part of the whole present wrapping operation)... but on occasion, matching of all that with the colour of the gift inside. But mostly just the external stuff thankfully, otherwise it's just too scary for words.

We stopped briefly to watch the first episode of the "new" series (new to here anyway) Who Do You Think You Are? on SBS... with my man-crush Stephen Fry as the subject. Quite interesting actually... and I think it will definitely be worth following... not in the least because next week it's Julia Sawalha who I also love... but sadly enough they're only screening six random episodes of the British version before they launch into an Australian version.

After that was over we decided to do some tidying up and organising of stuff before we went any further, which was kind of why I worked out just how many bags we really had that were just "for us"...

And again, possibly owing to the extreme levels of tiredness (although I will admit that once I'd found my groove and because I was busy, I really wasn't THAT tired, just apathetic), I did manage, while cutting the ends of a piece of ribbon into a nice professional looking inverted V shape, to slice the exact same shape into my finger as well as the ribbon. Whoops! Ma went to find me a bandaid, but wouldn't let me see it before she put it on me, which is why I ended up wearing a Hi-5 bandaid... bloody woman... *grin*

So by the time I left there it was past 11... then I needed to circle back (fortunately I hadn't gone very far) because I'd forgotten something... and got home around midnight...

And I only remembered as I got home that I'd totally managed to avoid the whole stupid "street Christmas Party thing"... woohoo!

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