It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We put up our Christmas tree tonight. I know, I know, it’s obscenely early (ok, it is the Saturday after Thanksgiving) but Bill leaves Wednesday for the UK and won’t be back until the night before we leave for our vacance de noel. So even though it’s November, we put up the tree.

Bill and Kaitlyn were in charge of picking it out. Last year we got a white flocked tree because Kaitlyn wanted a red or purple flocked one… and I wasn’t sure what Bill would come home with this year. He has a hard time telling his little girl “no,” especially when it’s something he doesn’t see as a big deal. (Or especially when he won’t have to be staring at the tree for the next few weeks.) They did a good job. It’s much better than last year’s white, two-foot-tall, Charlie Brown doozie. It’s about 6 feet tall and a lovely natural green. There’s a good amount of space between the branches, just like I like my tree.

They also went to the hardware store and bought two strands of lights. Only two because the lights are way WAY more expensive than at home. We have storage bins filled with strands of lights we bought for a buck each at Target. The light strands were about 18 euros each… which is actually a bargain here. Bill said he saw some that were 60 euros each. That’s a little much. Still.. the two strands he bought twinkle and are very pretty. Maybe we used to put too many lights on our tree. Nah… but this one is still good.

This tree also has hanging on it some of the ornaments that had been my mom’s. Last year I opened the box of her ornaments and put it right back away; I didn’t even touch the other boxes that had come from her house. This year I felt differently. Not every ornament is on the tree, but the ones that I remember most are. And the ones Kaitlyn really liked. I also took out some of her Christmas plates and bowls to set out. It’s not the same as having her here for Christmas. But I’m never going to have that again. It does make memories surface… and makes me feel close to her even though she’s gone.

In it’s own way, this Christmas is already better than last year’s. The tree is up, it’s a normal size and it has lights. I’ve already bought several gifts. We have a wonderful (hopefully) week planned skiing in the Swiss Alps with good friends. It stinks that Bill won’t be here for most of the month. But I’m learning that Christmas may be about family… but it’s not necessarily about being together with them… because sometimes you just can’t be. And I’m learning that that is ok.

One Response to “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”

  1. Kecia says:

    As usual, Craig & I are returning to Honolulu for the Noel Nonsense. I plan to paste the properly cheerful smile upon my face for the entirety of the visit. As a good AUNTIE & UNCLE, we are making donations in all the kids’ names. We figure they’ll be overwhelmed with gifts and tons of wrappings & crap. Also, I send my sister’s kids and brother’s son books on a very regular basis throughout the year to offset adding to the deluge of the season. After all, I am trying restart some sort of common sense in their heads. (The phrase that runs endlessly through my head: “I’M the brain-injured member of the family…Why are your parents so S-L-O-W & STOOPID?) O.K. I’ll quit my ranting now. Much Aloha, Kecia

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