Sunday, December 6, 2015

The End of an Era...


This tree would have seen sixteen (16) Christmases at our country casa…BUT it was given away two days ago. Sniff. Sniff.

A friend of ours, who was fantastic at interior decorating and who owned a gift store in the college town near us (he also owned a lovely/delicious restaurant for about six or seven years…), bought this tree for us, on our behalf, for our first Christmas in our new home. We’d moved in at the very end of November—from our Barn Apartment. Things were chaotic, of course. We needed a tree that was at least 9-feet tall—for our 14-foot Great Room ceiling. He found it—at a good price. Purchased some “lodge-y” decorations for us. And then put it up and decorated it, too! For the next four years, he came and decorated our tree and home for Christmas. Right after Thanksgiving. He did this for many of his friends and as a money-maker.

After five or so years, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I decided that was an extravagance we could forego. We went back to doing the Christmas decorating ourselves. Sigh. (It was sure lovely—feeling special, fancy and, well, almost ROYAL—all those years.)

Then six-ish years ago, MSH started complaining about this tree. Loudly and non-stop. We’d made a mistake when we put in our front door. It’s a double door—but only one side opens. Dragging this tree in through the door that opened started messing up the lights. When MSH plugged it in? Half the lights would not be working. He’d commence a 2-4 hour process of trying to find which dadgum lights had gotten loose and were messing 2/3rds of the tree up. Often times, he'd be forced to make a run to Hellmart, which is over 20 miles, one way, from our home. Sheesh. (Not the word he usually said.)

He started a campaign I called his “Please, Dear Lord, AND ELC, Let Us Purchase A New Tree” Campaign. Being the tightwad (about some things) I am, I would say, sweetly:

ELC: Now, listen, MSH. We don’t need to spend the money on a new tree. I understand it takes you a while to get the lights going, but you always do. And, think about it: A new tree will likely have the same problems.

MSH: That’s not a certainty. We had no problems with the tree lights for the first nine or so years. I can’t stand this job. It takes a toll on my Christmas Spirit.

ELC: Well, let’s discuss it next year, 'kay? 

Yep. We'd have that discussion. I’d hang tough and say, with determination: Not this year. Let’s discuss it next year. Winky. Wink.

A couple of weeks ago, as we planned our “Tree Lighting Ceremony,” MSH began his annual campaign. This time, I didn’t have the energy to argue/plead/threaten. I gave in. My rules? The tree had to be smaller. No more than 7 feet tall. It had to be on sale. It had to be—in all likelihood—the last we’d buy. I was confident he’d have NO issues with these demands. He didn’t.




We found this tree at a Hobby Lobby in Fort Worth. (There is nothing more fun than Hobby Lobby right before Thanksgiving and up until Christmas—said no one. Ever.)  It was 50% off. (Although, frankly, I think even that price was about $30-$50 too high.) It’s slender, easy to assemble, and, when one light goes out, it doesn’t cause 100 more to fail. It worked for both of us!

I’m gifting TLC and Little Leighton the small tree we bought the year of the Sandy Hook murders. If y’all have been with us since that time, you might remember I couldn’t find my Christmas spirit. It was just too horrible/sad/devastating. I bought a little 4-foot lighted tree and put it on a table in front of our bookshelf. I had an ornament for each of the children and the adults (except for the adult psychotic killer and, yes, I should have found a way to forgive him…unfortunately, I still don’t think I’m there yet…) that had perished that horrific day. It’s a very sweet tree. Multi-colored lights. I’ve kept most of the ornaments and have put them on our new tree. Little Leighton (and soon to be born Baby Leighton) will be able to have a tree in her/their upstairs playroom. She/they can decorate it with some of TLC’s ornaments she had when she was a small tot. I’m hoping to take it to them this week. I'll be tres anxious to see it! (TLC is the Quintessential Lover of All Things Christmas! At some point, I see some rebellion from Her Hubby on the horizon. She even wears me out.)

MSH and I have scaled down, significantly, from our past efforts to mega-decorate our home. We feel the need for SIMPLE. (This is where we are—MSH and me—in total sync, being in the “Golden Years” of our lives. Less is more.) TLC will be receiving some Santas, including a Santa Nutcracker, and other decorations she’s had her eyes on for a few years. She’ll even inherit the plastic storage tub for it all—I won’t need it. YIPPEE!!!

This year, on January 1st or 2nd, it shouldn’t take me two days (as it always has in the past) to disassemble my Christmas hoop-la! Trust me: that will make this ELC/Wife/Mom/Grammy VERY VERY VERY Happy.

Y’all have a WONDERFUL Week…PLEASE...Wherever in the World you are!

ta-ta for now…