In past years, getting the tree home involved a blanket on the roof, opening the doors, and running rope or twine through the car (and yes, on more than one occasion I forgot to open the doors and ended up tying the doors shut). Not this year. Prior to our vacation to Maine this August, I invested in removable Thule roof racks for our bikes. So I threw them on this morning, making tying down the tree a snap.
After driving home, the tree went into the stand and up in the living room. Perfectly straight the first time! That's never happened before. And every old string of lights worked just fine. What the hell's up with that?
We listened to our Frank Sinatra-Bing Crosby and the Glenn Miller Christmas CDs as we decorated the tree with ornaments old and new (including this year's additions -- it's a tradition in our house to get each other an ornament as a gift for tree trim every year). The Red Sox 2004 Champions ornament found a place of honor while the New England Patriots and New York Giants globes were diplomatically placed on opposite sides of the tree. Up went the caroling lobstahs, the fat glass reindeer, the antique ornament from Poland, a multitude of lighthouses, the handmade ornaments from my grandmother, the cheerleading moose and reindeer, and the green glass pickle. All of the treasures that had been carefully wrapped and boxed last January and put away safely until this evening.
90 minutes later, the tree was decorated, the boxes and tissue paper were packed away, the lamps were turned off, and I turned on the lights on the tree.
"We are the Borg. Happy holidays. Resistance is futile," declared the Borg Cube located about a quarter of the way up from the floor.
"I wish you a most honorable holiday. Ka-plagh!" chimed in Commander Worf from the Runabout Rio Grande from the other side of the tree.
We sat there on the couch, the only illumination coming from the tree and the icicle lights in the bay window while all three cats desperately sought our attention or simply some reassurance that the temporary chaos was over, which indeed it was. Then, a short time later, ZuZu ended the evening (and the DVD) by reminding us all that every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.
And with that, the holiday season really did get kicked off in our household. Happy early holidays, everyone!
The gift ornament I gave my wife. Sadly, Wall-E's lights don't actually light up but he's fun to have on the tree anyway.