As is pretty much custom around these parts, we put the Christmas tree up today. I lugged all of it up from the basement and to the porch yesterday afternoon and then this afternoon, while Heidi was at the gym, Anna and I pulled it all inside. Every year we laugh at how big the tree is. We bought it when we moved into our first house in 1999, after years of apartment living and having to settle for the scrawniest artificial tree you have ever seen. We got it home and immediately it was too big for any space in our house. But it's still around and it fits better in this house than it ever did in the other one.
We came to the rather startling conclusion that we had not a single strand of lights in the house, so we had to run out to Target to buy some. We are now comfortably outfitted for Christmas lights until next year when I plug them in and half of them don't work. This is always balanced out by the plethora of ornaments, some going back to both Heidi's and my childhoods, but most just ones we have accumulated in our 14 years together. Amidst all this, Anna and I did our annual dividing of the Christmas music into "booty shaking Christmas songs" and "non-booty shaking Christmas songs." We added one other category - "party-pooper songs" - of which we decided "Hard Candy Christmas" is one even though it is Dolly.
So here's a shot of the finished tree - it looks pretty good this year. Actually, it looks about like it does every year, but that's probably part of what is so comfortable about it. It's also hard to take a picture of a lit Christmas tree, so this is as good as it gets.
One other thing that got pulled out of storage are the holiday mugs. People give us mugs all the time - which is great as one can never have too many mugs. (although we really are starting to test that theory) Holiday mugs are always dicey because they only get used for about 6 weeks out of the year. Anyway, there's one mug that I particularly like. I don't even remember where it came from or who gave it to us, but it's one of my most-favored holiday mugs.
What I like about it is how it seems to depict such a worry-free existence. They don't have to worry that the 4-day weekend ends today or that they'll inevitably spend too much on Christmas. All he has to worry about is riding in that open sleigh and making sure the dog follows you home when you're bringing back firewood. But the more I thought about it, that's all an illusion. They have to worry about tuberculosis and diphtheria. They have to worry about the baby having a good chance of not seeing its first birthday. So it helps me put things in perspective. I'll keep my first-world problems (as a friend of mine refers to them) and let the people in this scene worry about vaccine-preventable diseases.