In our household, we celebrate three events this time of the year. Obviously, there is Christmas and New Year, but Helen (adorable wife) adds a third event to the calendar. The event, Decorating for Christmas, is a big deal…a really, big, deal.
Thankfully, Helen waits until the day after Thanksgiving to start. She refuses to follow the lead of retail establishments and others who rush the season, but as soon as the turkey is trashed, out comes the boxes from the recesses of the attic. That chore falls on me, but most of the labor she takes on herself—and always with a smile. She truly relishes the task.
In most years, this activity goes off without a hitch. Helen has all the ornaments, lights, and miscellaneous decorations organized in storage crates which are labeled and numbered. This year, however, the event brought out an interesting twist because she broke with tradition and did the heretofore unthinkable. Helen bought an artificial tree.
In years past I had tried to make this happen…bringing trees home and placing them on a stand can be a real pain. I tried especially hard to convince her after we downsized and artificial trees seemed to be the norm in our neighborhood. I tried even harder after a retired couple we know built a new home and constructed a closet in the living room where the Christmas tree lives, fully decorated. Every year they simply pull it out and plug it in. At the end of the season, they scoot it a few feet into the closet where it lives for another year. Compared to what I went through every year with a real tree, this sounded like a good deal to me.
I can’t recall what prompted the change. I just remember that after the Christmas season last year, she was searching online for a tree that came with an abundance of lights, at the best price of course. Next, I was unloading a boxed tree from her car and hauling it up to the attic…grinning broadly.
Fast forward to this season and it’s time to decorate for 2017. Down the stairs comes the boxed tree where it is placed in the center of the living room.
Follow the pictures, they tell the story.
Success! The lights come on! There are white lights, then colored lights, then blinking lights, then flashing lights, then slow glow, fast glow, and twinkle.
On top of all that, this tree even rotates! It was such a hoot that we laughed ourselves silly. We settled on colored without glow or twinkle. After a while, all of that glowing and twinkling was suddenly creating an urge to find sharp objects, a notion I had to dispel before somebody got hurt.
Thinking that the tree was ready to decorate, I began looking for my favorite ornaments, the wooden ones that we brought home from Germany where we lived after we were married. I look forward to this reunion every year. It’s like welcoming old friends back to the house after a year apart. I pulled the guys out and began to place them on a tree branch when from the back of the room there came such a clatter, I paused in mid-placement.
“We have to fluff!”
“Fluff”, she says. “The branches have to be fluffed!”
Deciding that fluffing was a task for which I was woefully unqualified, I repaired to the refrigerator for an adult beverage. I returned to my recliner for a fluffing demonstration. It required three days. Again, the pictures tell all.
At one point, fluffing operations ceased and Helen handed me an ornament that she picked out to commemorate our newly found RV lifestyle. It was an ornament to honor Bertha, our first travel trailer. Laughter reigned once again. I handed her an ornament I purchased to represent our second RV, Betty.
Fluffing continues, and I’m Easin’ Along.