It's that time of year again... time for trimming the tree and officially making with wrapping presents and general Christmas plans...
And oddly enough it was a pretty easy day, albeit with one small hitch (more on that later).
After I got ready I headed down to the 24 bakery to pick up some stuff for breakfast and lunch and general nibbles, which turned out quite well even if the girl in the bakery looked at me like I was slightly nuts (what with ordering pies and pasties at 8am... but given it's a 24 hour bakery, I'm sure I'm not the craziest person they've had in there).
Once I got down to Ma's and we'd gotten organised it was time to unpack the tree and read through all the little notes I add to every year... I really do need to photograph them again... there's some funny stuff in there, or at least it seems funny when we're putting the tree up. I did end up wearing my mini Sharpie lanyard for a bunch of the day too... came in handy, especially later on when I hung a pen from it while we were wrapping presents.
Which brings me around to the hitch... getting the lights on the tree. Since we bought the two sets of 100 lights a few years back I don't believe that we've been able to get them into place properly. And today was no exception... three attempts, and I'm not completely sure that the way we finally went with is the best idea... but it kinda worked.
I'm also not sure if I spread the branches out more than usual or what, but it seemed to be harder to get the baubles in place than previously...
But it's always the same... you think it's not going according to plan or as easily as it has in previous years and in the end it comes out looking pretty good and about the same as always (which is not really news, since I think I said about the same thing last year).
We managed to get everything done tree-wise reasonably quickly and with a minimum of mess and fuss overall... but as I mentioned to Ma later in the day, it's not really the tree stuff that messes the place up, it's the present wrapping that follows.
Before we got to that though we tidied up the tree stuff, had some lunch and went to the shops... which, to be honest we really didn't need to do... we didn't need anything that couldn't have waited and all we really did was waste an hour.
When we got back we wrapped La Cousina's framed Chinese outfits (which I just realised that I never got a picture of... must remember to do that on Christmas Day after she opens them) and a few other bits and pieces before we called it a day.
Obviously at some point after we got back from the shops it must have rained, very quickly and kinda hard, because when I came out to start packing up the car with my toy solider collection and sundry other Christmas decorations I discovered that because I'd left the windows open the inside of my car got a little on the damp side. It must have been a very brief rainstorm though because the concrete under the car wasn't even wet, except where it had dripped off the car. Weird.
On the drive home there was a bit of an odd occurrence too... I saw a guy standing on the side of the road (in a slightly odd place too) in a white muscle top (but really not the muscle top type, kinda more Mafia then muscle) smoking... which wouldn't have been weird at all, except for the fact that the very same guy had been standing in the very same spot when I drove past this morning. Whether he'd been standing there for the whole 11 hours between the two trips or not I don't know... but it was definitely both sketchy and weird.
Then I got back home to discover that the annual Christmas party was going on on the grass verge outside my place... which I knew was happening, because it usually falls on the same day that we put up the tree, but I'd totally forgotten about it until I got home. Fortunately because the weather wasn't overly pleasant the party didn't go on for too long and broke up just after dark.
It's odd though that a day where you get a ton of stuff done from an objective standpoint can feel like you haven't done a damn thing at all... and as though the time has just slipped through your fingers with nothing to show for it... whereas a day where you sit around and do nothing can seem to last forever. Of course, that's partly because with the exception of a couple of boxes and a big tin toy soldier, my lounge room doesn't look any different, unlike Ma's place.
Well, not yet anyway... I'm going to unpack everything later in the week, after I've had a chance to work out what I'm going to pack away.
But now the weekend's done and it's off to work again tomorrow... which I'll admit, after Friday, is not something I'm overly looking forward to.