Monday, December 5

It's (slowly) Beginning To Look A Lot Like Xmas

In the past, we have done some decorating for the holidays. Typically it has involved a mishmash of our blue and white HannukahChristmas lights, our Adventsstjarna, cards we receive from our friends and loved ones (most of which seem to feature ridiculously adorable babies), and an assortment of other odds and ends that we have picked up. But in the five previous holiday seasons that we have spent together, we have never had our own Christmas/Yule tree. We have helped to decorate them at our various parents' homes, but never had our own tree.

Until now. And what a tree it is. But I'll get to that in a moment.

This year we decided to begin our own traditions here in Smallville rather than traversing the country to visit our families. And while our hopes that our families would spend Christmas with us were somewhat foiled, we continued onwards and decided to decorate our new home for the holiday season for the very first time.

Last week I began by stringing some lights up on our front porch:


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(for the record, these were originally all white lights, until K's dear late mother -- from whom we inherited the lights -- decided to add a single blue light at the end of each strand. Yes, there is a reason everyone described her as eternally patient.)

But the real fun only got started yesterday when K. and I went out to a local Christmas-Tree-Farm-Slash-Cohousing-Community to cut down our very own tree. It was probably not the wisest of decisions to go do this the day after our first snowfall of the year, but to us it only seemed like it would add to the festive holiday spirit -- and besides, there was really no other good time to go. Of course, the weather made the adventure involve quite a bit of driving around the muddy roads of the farm -- the first time we wished that our Toyota "Lexus of Minivans" Sienna had off-roading capabilities.

But after a good amount of driving and tromping around the woods, we finally found the perfect tree for us. Or at least a tree that seemed somewhat-better-than-merely-acceptable as my socks were getting wetter and wetter. So we pulled out the handy saw that they had given us, and sawed the sucker down:


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We started to carry it back to the main shop ourselves -- did I mention that there was live bluegrass music and free hot cocoa to make the whole thing more festive and more fun -- but we were unable to carry the tree ourselves, so K. called in the reinforcements who helped me carry the tree back through the icy mud and the muddy ice to the place where they baled it up while I drank my hot cocoa.


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We then strapped the tree down to the top of the Sienna and drove it home, where we wrestled with it long enough to get it in the stand and standing up in the living room.

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Yes, it's big. Bigger than we had anticipated -- while we had a good sense of the height and how it was pretty much what we wanted, the girth of the tree seemed much narrower when it was surrounded by other trees and wide open spaces than it does sitting in the middle of our living room. In fact, I don't know much about metaphors -- except for what I learned from the films of Morty Fineman: Metaphors are Like Dreams and Similes are Dreams. But it doesn't take an English professor to realize that there is something deeply symbolic and the tree is a lot like the house: it looks great, and its very large, but we have nowhere near enough ornaments (ie furniture) to fill it.

Now, the original plan was to come home last night and decorate the tree. But when we got home we were far more tired and sore than we had anticipated. More importantly, it seems that in all of that walking around on icy muddy hilly terrain, I twisted my ankle. And so I went on the DL, and I have been lying around resting, icing, compressing, and elevating my ankle except for the teaching I had to do today. Hopefully we'll decorate the tree tonight, but first we need to watch Arrested Development.

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