My husband’s family had a lovely tradition when the kids were growing up. Every year, the kids got a new ornament to hang on the tree. Some got lost or broken along the way, but the end result is a nice supply of ornaments with sentimental value, which go to the child once they reach adulthood-ish. OK, in our case, we didn’t take them off Mom’s hands until last year; but that was more of an organizational issue, stuff getting packed away all willy-nilly each year, than a not-wanting issue.
It took us an extra weekend to get the dang tree up, but I’m so glad we did finally, for several reasons. Maybe at the top of that list is that the tree lights are drawing our big cat out of the master bedroom finally. She went quite sedentary when the kitten came on the scene, because we separated them quite a bit while they got used to each other. But it did not do her any favors, and she gained weight. We finally moved the litter box out of the bedroom, and that got her moving a bit, but by and large, she was hanging out with Hubs in the master bedroom all. the. time. She’s coming out into the living room a LOT more now, sleeping on the big chair next to the tree; and she and Ansel have been getting along quite a bit better. They still wrestle quite a bit…Ansel’s only 8 months today, and definitely more energetic…but they also sleep next to each other now without incident, and there’s some co-bathing going on.
By some Yule miracle, the cats are not interested in climbing said tree. Ansel pulls ornaments off occasionally, but once we started putting gifts around it, he stopped screwing with the bottom ornaments for the most part, and he’s never jumped into it, thank goodness.
The tree itself is your basic artificial model, 6 feet, already strung with lights. Les is allergic to pine, but I’m still pondering testing that theory and putting some branches up around the house. Living in the country has its advantages. Having Les’s childhood ornaments on there feels so right, and I find myself wanting to make some of my own.
We opened presents on Sunday morning (Yule/Winter Solstice). Made a nice brunch and dinner, and puttered mostly otherwise. I was locked out of my work system all weekend (see Ember Madrone for my rantings about that), and it was just the break I needed from the autopilot mode I’ve been sporting lately.
Thursday/Christmas morning, we’ll travel down to Aiken to visit Les’s family for the day. That work outage means we can’t afford to take more than one night, but that’s a blessing we were planning on anyway, to avoid family tensions. My sis and mom will visit this weekend.
Lil Bro is still marooned in Florida. We don’t usually exchange gifts, both out of laziness and poverty on both our parts, and that’s fine…it’s kind of an unspoken permission we give ourselves, thanks to Dad’s ingrained aversion for the holidays…it somehow makes it not bad to not gift. What a concept. We know we love each other, even if we don’t talk much. Nuf said.
Still, the gifts are nice when you can do it, and I find myself adding a bit of myself more and more. Whether it’s a pound cake, homemade granola, or a regift, maybe something I bought myself that someone else will use and appreciate more…I see no problem with that. The holiday spirit eluded me this year, for the most part, so much so that I find myself wanting to maybe plan out things to do to prepare for the season throughout the year, kind of like how the Yarn Harlot knits a pair of socks a month so that at least she’ll have those handy for gifts come Christmas. I don’t see that happening here, but maybe the concept can be put to use. I have a new planner coming in the mail in the next week or so.
Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a Merry New Year!