It has been two years since we have celebrated Christmas for the family at our house. As a result, the last couple of years our Christmas decorations have been on the minimal side -- in fact, down to one single Christmas tree and no decorations outside. It was a nice, sedate holiday season for two years. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas were at one of our kid's houses which meant that we could simply get in our car and drive to the festivities, and then get into the car and leave. Little hassle, and actually a pretty relaxing experiences.
This year the calendar finger is pointing directly at us.
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and are we concerned with Turkey and all the stuff that goes along with it for twenty people? Nah, of course not. It is panic time in preparing for Christmas.
You see, there is a rule that states that on Thanksgiving Night, the lights are switched on. Actually that sounds more technically advanced than we really are. It really means that on Thanksgiving Night we rush around like mad crashing into each other trying to plug extension cords into too many outlets, and then the lights come on...kind of haphazardly with different parts of the house and yard coming to lighted-life one after the other...about a fifteen minute process. The whole point of all this is so the grandkids can dance with glee and their mothers mouth "How pretty" and their fathers stand there and smirk.
It is a rule.
To obey this rule calls for preparation, the first of which is to find the lights and the four artificial Christmas trees (not counting the seven or eight mini-trees) then untangle lights and test them and somehow organize the whole thing. This one preparatory part of this process can take a weekend. Don't believe me?
This is the untangling and sorting and untangling of lights part of our Christmas preparation life. I know, I said untangling twice because we somehow ended up with really tangled lights this year.
If you look close you will see a sort of a sick white tree with red ornaments standing in the background. We found it in the attic and at one time it stood all lit up in the yard, but now none of the lights work on it -- and now we look at it and proclaim that it is sick looking tree and is destined for the trash.
By Thanksgiving we will have way too many lights outside -- including the back yard patio -- primarily in red and white which is symbolic for -- well, red and white lights. Inside we will have only 4 trees this year. There's one decorated in gold in the living room, one in silver in the den, a blue one in the dining room, and a red one in the foyer. We normally have 5 but some creep broke into our storage facility and stole all our burgundy ornaments. I can't remember what else....let's see, a big Christmas village and merry-go-rounds and each interior doorway draped in lighted garlands, and special themed decorations on every flat surface and...I don't know, a bunch of stuff.
It is a lot of work and for what? Well, we once had my boss and his wife over during the holiday season, and his immediate reaction was, "Wow! We just walked into Disneyland!" My kids sort of make fun of the whole thing, but I have heard my daughter remark, "They do it up right. It is awesome." My son kind of smirks at the whole thing, but then I notice that he takes his son to every decoration and brags how pretty it is.
Our theme is gaudy and nice. Yeah, we go over the top....but we also have some very nice and tasteful decorations too.
Is it worth it? Now is not the time to ask me that question.
I'll keep you apprised of the progress.