Setting up the tree -- 12/01/02

I noted in last night's entry that Nancy went to bed early because she wasn't feeling well... shortly after I posted that entry I headed upstairs myself and realized that I wasn't feeling so hot myself. I got a good night's sleep but have still been feeling tired and cold. In fact, although I've kind of committed to myself that I'm going to get in a workout everyday if I can, I decided that today is one of those days when I can't. I was just concerned that about coming down with some bug because I simply do not have the time to be sick during the next two weeks, just too much to do. So this was a morning of relaxing with the Sunday paper... and I compounded that by spending a couple of hours this afternoon reading a novel. Ah, true decadence.

Mid-afternoon brought a trip to the supermarket... so now we have a fresh supply of food... and as soon as I finish with this entry I've got to apply heat to some parts of that supply so that we can have dinner and get things cleared away and get everything set for tomorrow before The Sopranos comes on. (One week from tonight will be the season finale; I don't know when the next season will be released.)

Nancy and I just finished setting up the tree. This involved moving furniture around in the living room -- we've put the tree in front of the windows, right where we had it last year. I cut off the bottom six inches; only an inch or so cut would be enough for it to be a fresh cut, but I needed to remove a crooked section. The top of the tree is just about seven feet high -- which is fairly short for us, usually we are almost touching the ceiling.

It was only bailed up for about twenty-four hours, but we're still going to give the branches a couple of hours to spread out before we try to figure out the best viewing angles... it is nicely shaped without any obvious sparse areas, so that should not be a challenge. If I have time enough I may put the lights on tonight, otherwise I'll let that wait until tomorrow night. Then, once the lights are on, we can put the ornaments on at our leisure Monday and/or Tuesday nights.

It should be very pleasant to have the tree up and available for enjoyment through the whole month of December. We did get the tree early last year also, but then I was off to France for two weeks, which kept me from being able to enjoy it. I'm going to be very busy the next two or three weeks, but at least I won't be out of town. I'm not fond of December travel, especially not when it means being out of the country for two weeks. I think it was the year before that I was gone for one week, half of it in Toronto and the other half in Rochester, Minnesota (Now there are two winter wonderlands for you!)... I guess it's not so bad if it's early in the month 'cause in '98 I had to spend a week and a half in Hawaii during early December and I didn't seem to mind that quite as much (*grin* -- in fact, I just checked the Honolulu weather forecast and the high temperature each day for the next week is predicted to be between 77 and 81, that's it, exactly the same for each day... hmmm, you could probably get bored with their weather after twenty or thirty years... or maybe not...)

Our Christmas tree is part of our family rituals. We don't have quite as many rituals as we did when we lived in upstate New York, but the kids are pretty much grown now, not little the way they were there... Every fall we went apple picking (just as we would have gone blueberry picking in the summer) and made an October trip to The Pumpkin Farm (for pumpkins, of course) and to the Cider Mill (for cider and donuts) [In fact, on Thanksgiving a niece who used to accompany us on those pumpkin trips thanked us for giving her so many good memories and said she is now attempting to build similar memories for her children -- her daughter is the one who was looking for a purple crayon so she could make her hair the same color as our daughter's hair] Christmas meant going to a tree farm to select and cut a tree, decorating the tree, decorating the house, going to The Cider Mill Playhouse to see their production of A Christmas Carol, participating in the neighborhood progressive Christmas party (a different set of houses each year, about an hour at each house, then on to the next... oh, okay, so this was for the grownups), the Christmas pageant at church, stockings hung by the fireplace on Christmas Eve...

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