deck the tree and trim the halls

Sunday, December 05, 2010

christmas tree 2010... would you believe, no tinsel... at ma's request!And there it is... the end result of a morning's worth of general insanity...

Although I have to say, much less with the crazy this year! Although you may have a different opinion once you read the rest of this post...

I managed to get my shit together reasonably early this morning and after a very brief shower, I was on my way down to Ma's place by around quarter to 8... after a detour to the 24 hour bakery to get banana bread and the Sunday paper.

On previous years I'm pretty sure once I get to Ma's place I fluff around and read the paper and whatnot, but this year I wanted to dive straight into it, get the tree up and, in essence, get home earlier than I have on previous years.

So dive straight in we did... after I inhaled the fresh batch of Ham Hearts that Ma had waiting for me when I got there...

xmas prep: the neverending christmas notes, from me to me... these are the baubles... is it wrong that we thumb are noses at the conventional idea of what constitutes christmas present designAs you can see by the image alongside, the every expanding army of notes from me, to us (well, essentially to myself) keeps growing every year... and if you think that's bad, there's three pieces of cardboard inside the box all of which have notes from me to me from various points in the Christmas tree experience. And, yes, I add to it in some form or another every year.

It's also weird that I tend to obey whatever it is I wrote on the boxes in previous years... as a case in point, I spent the whole day wearing my Sharpie lanyard, just because the box said so (yeah, it came in handy, but still)...

You can also see that small amount of OCD that Ma and I have between us... one particular year I took photos of every set of baubles in it's box, so that we could then put those photos on the outside of the box to denote what baubles went in where. In truth I should have taken a shot of a single bauble for each box, but whadyagunnado...

Anyway, the tree itself went up with very little fuss as always, and given that we bought the new string of LED lights yesterday the whole process of putting lights on the tree was completely painless! Which has to be a first. Okay, we both got dizzy from walking around and around and around and around and around and around the tree... but other than that...

Sadly though, there's something not quite right about the lights themselves... when they are set on the "Steady On" setting, they are neither steady, nor completely on. They flicker and sputter... it's only really that setting though... everything else is fine. But hey, they weren't that expensive and now that we've proved the principle of a string of lights is sound, we can buy a better set next year, or look around in the post Christmas sales.

I kinda think that the baubles are a little lopsided this year... oddly though, the side that I planned to take the photo of, that was fine, but the side you can't see in the photo, definitely a little bit lacking.

The oddest thing of all was that because of the new lights (and how many there were, and how damn white and bright they are), Ma actually didn't want any tinsel on the tree! I've been attempting to talk her into that for the last four or five years, but every year she says she has to have the tinsel because it finishes the tree off... but not this time! I would have been happier about that if the lights worked properly... but I guess you can't have everything.

By the time we finally finished the tree, I guess it was about 11... which may not be a record, but definitely felt like an achievement... and it probably helped that we weren't messing around with the lights for about half an hour!

So I put up the Nativity like I do every year, we put boxes away and sorted out everything we need for the table on Christmas Day... it was all very civilised and orderly.

And since we seemed to have some time up our sleeves, we went though all of the wrapping paper, all of the tissue paper, all of the curly ribbon and all of the wide ribbon that Ma has and decided what we still wanted to keep and what we didn't. The answer was mostly "keep", but I also sorted all the tissue paper by colour (what, it really needed doing!) and resorted the curly ribbon by colour.

So very much OCD...

I chose too see the positive side of it, and when it came time to wrap some presents we knew exactly where everything was and could find the right thing without a lot of pointless searching!

And I think that doing all of that probably took almost as much time as putting the tree up! Now if only it stays neat and tidy like that until next year.

Anyway... as we always do Post Tree Trimming, we proceeded to make with the present wrapping. And that's pretty much when Ma's living room went from looking neat and orderly to looking like some sort of building site/bomb site/discount import warehouse!

We didn't end up wrapping that much stuff... my presents for Princess T and Miss Oh, some children's books Ma has to mail to interstate relatives and, as the final image in the trilogy up above shows, the "gift boxes" she's giving to Princess T and Miss Oh.

The giant white cracker/bonbon in the front is my present for Miss Oh... we've done that kind of thing in the past, but never on that large a scale (you can see my iPhone behind it)... impressive though... and the ribbon holding it all together matches the colours of the present inside...

The two gift boxes came out exceptionally well too... even though neither of them is particularly Christmassy in it's colouring ... well, the one for Princess T kinda is... except for the black... but it matched the colours of the gifts...

I'm thinking of doing a similar thing with Ma's presents this year... not with the cellophane and everything, but I'm planning on reusing the big square box I gave her all her birthday presents in last year...

Anyway, I called it a day at 5pm, and had to ferry everything through the very welcome rain (well, welcome because it's cooled everything down, but I could have done without it for the five minutes I needed to pack up the car)... then after I left I had to turn around (fortunately I wasn't out at the main road, because that would have been a total pain in the ass) and go back because I'd forgotten a whole bag of my stuff...

And given that part of that stuff was toy soldier related, I would have been a very unhappy bunny if I'd forgotten it...

my toy soldier collection 2010, in situSome of the collection was the stuff I put out on Saturday morning... the hanging toy soldiers have been up since Wednesday... but the finishing touches went on when I got home today. I'm planning on taking better photos when I have better lighting conditions, but that might not be until next Sunday... I also need to remember to take photos of it again after Christmas with the new additions before I take it all down.

But no, I haven't counted how many toy soldiers I actually own... I don't think it's 50.. yet...

And now it's only 20 sleeps until Christmas!

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