Sunday, November 30, 2008
This year's Trimming of the Tree went off pretty much without a hitch... at least no hitches other than those that happen when Ma and I are trying to do any project together that requires communication and teamwork (which is a slight exaggeration, but we both know how to push each other's buttons like nobody else). But at least we weren't working on about four hours of sleep this time...
Well, there was one big fat hitch, but that wasn't directly related to the whole tree experience, so I'll get to that later.
I'm suddenly looking at the photos for the last couple of years worth of decorated Christmas trees and realising that with a couple of minor alterations, the tree (and, by extension, the photo) pretty much looks the same every year, and I could probably just recycle the same photo every year and nobody (but me) would be any the wiser.
Likewise, the plan of the day stays the same, it's only the minor details that change. But it does seem like we've been more in the Christmas groove this year than we have the last couple of years... not just with the tree trimming, but everything. Which makes for much more smooth sailing... which I like.
I was up nice and early this morning and I headed down to Ma's fairly early too, I think I rocked up just before 8am... and, once again, unlike the last couple of years, Ma was completely organised and ready to go... so after the usual random banter that happens when we haven't seen each other for about a week, and a little bit of breakfast and a skim through the Sunday paper, we got down to work... and it was still pretty early.
Oh, before I get to that... a few weeks ago I bought an el-cheapo double CD set of Christmas music that said "Christmas Dance Party" on the cover... now, I knew this was going to be bad... but I kind of thought that just maybe it might live up to the title on the cover, you know... all Christmas doofdoof music. And it did stick to the "party" bit... if the party was in 1975!!! Oh! My! God! Talk about tackarama... amusing as all hell, and kinda cool in it's own way, but it's about as "dance party" as shag pile carpeting and feathered haircuts *rolls eyes*. Funny though.
Now, getting back to the treeness...
Once again I added to my ongoing collection of notes on boxes... which invariably either amuses the crap out of us, or is useful advise, or quite often both.
We still had trouble with putting the lights on again... I think we might have worked out some sort of system, but that only really came together towards the end of the ordeal, so we'll have to see how it works out next year.
Also like last year, when we got around to the baubles I didn't really try too hard with avoiding the whole "baubles of the same colour close to each other"... we have a LOT of baubles in gold and green and red (and we bought some more last year in the sales), so if I had really tried to spread the colours evenly I think my brain may well have exploded...
So the tree was all trimmed and good to go in reasonably short order... considering... maybe a couple of hours, if that.
It was about then that the hitch set in.
Last night I was getting stuff ready here for my few Christmas decorations (including my seemingly rapidly expanding collection of toy soldiers and nutcrackers that have appeared out of thin air in the last few months), so I did a bit of dusting and packed some bits and pieces away to make room for the seasonal variations. Then I got my big nutcracker out (okay, that just sounds filthy to me) and decided to unpack the clear plastic reindeer I bought back at the end of October. And when I got it out of the packaging... WAAAAHHHHHHH... one of it's antlers had snapped off. When I originally saw the reindeer, I had assumed that the antlers were actually metal... but no, metallic coloured plastic, and somehow, somewhen, most likely before I even bought the thing, the antler had snapped *pout*.
So since there's a Myer near Ma, I took it up with me and we rang them to see if they had one... bimbo on the phone took our details and said that she'd call us back. Never happened. Stoopid bimbo. But we had to go to the shops anyway, so we took the reindeer with us to see if they had any and we could swap it over.
Of course, they didn't have any... and when we got back from shopping we called the city store, nope... Marion (where I bought it), nope... Tea Tree Plaza, nope... but we care talking about Christmas casuals who are employed on a Sunday, so it's possible that were completely clueless... so I'm going to go into the city store tomorrow and maybe call Marion as well, see if I can't rustle up one somewhere. If all else fails, I'm going to repair the antler with superglue or something.
Anyway, remember how yesterday I said I wasn't going to buy Ma anything else... yeah, I'm just going to shut up about that until Christmas Eve... we saw one of those Spiral Spinner things (kind of like these) in one of the discount stores for $6 (I'm not sure how much it had been... $20 maybe)... so I bought it for her. Sadly they only had ones with yellow spheres in them (on the box they had a purple one which would have been better)... but then that was probably why they were $6...
I also found another little toy solider ornament... and we came up with a way to display the ornaments (for now anyway), a $3.50 metal "mug tree"... it's not quite right, but I have no idea what the right thing IS, so this will do for now.
Then we came back to Ma's... had some linner... ummm... dunch... why is there no word for a meal between lunch and dinner? I mean brunch is a very serviceable word, but there's no equivalent for the afternoon (that I know of)... anyway, we had a late lunch/early dinner and then got organised to wrap a few presents.
We did have a slightly scary moment going through all the discounted ornaments we've bought in the last couple of years to attach to presents... some of the ones from our last excursion are just plain WRONG... but I had no recollection of a number of them, so it was fun to unwrap them all and see what had.
The actual wrapping mostly went well... Ma had a few senior moments, but we wrapped some bits and pieces, sorted out some other things, I picked out some bags and boxes and whatnot to wrap Ma's things in... and before we knew it it was 6pm. I'd planned on heading home at about 7:30, partly because the new season of America's Next Top Model was in the TV Guide as starting tonight... so I figured I'd watch it down at Ma's and then come home... but once again the TV Guide couldn't find it's ass with both hands and a map, and ANTM wasn't on at all... but we'd packed up before I realised, so I ended up coming home about half an hour early.
And of course, because the day we end up putting up the tree is ALWAYS the same day that the idiots in my street throw their annual Christmas Street Party, I came home to general noisy randomness outside my bedroom window. Fortunately they're all gone now, which is a bonus. I guess I was kind of due to encounter them... I've missed the whole thing for the last few years, having stayed much later at Ma's, but with work and whatnot, I wanted to come home and organise things (plus I had a blog post to write).
So here I am, with a living room that's covered from one end to the other in random Christmas related crap, and all I have to do now is summon up the energy to go deal with it all...
Wish me luck!
Oh, by the way... there's only 25(ish) days until Christmas!