Our bare Christmas tree was relaxed sufficiently. It needed a little bling. We spent an entire day decorating the tree and the house for the holidays. After all, it's been days since Thanksgiving. November and all the leftovers have gone. It was time to put away the fall leaves and turkey stuff and get into the new season. The big wreath was hung from the upstairs window first. Then window boxes received an evergreen and red berry boost.
Lugging all those well worn boxes and tubs from the cellar is always a chore, but nobody really minds (or at least they didn't complain out loud). The mess in the dining room quickly grew out of control. Lin had a decorating plan and was hellbent to see it through. White electric candles were placed on the window sills. We needed lots of extra bulbs. You wonder what happens to them while they sit in their boxes and wait from year to year, but nary a one of them was willing to light up without some coaxing.
On board, we usually wind a garland of faux-greens around the mast and hang ornaments collected from countries we've visited during our passages. It's a good time to reminisce about all the places we've visited in our travels. David patiently listens to the stories, told over and over again. There's not much room to stow ornaments aboard, so all the decorations we have are small and all fit neatly into one small plastic tub which is tucked away at the back of an infrequently used locker. We've had lights when electricity was available and we could find them, but usually it's minimal decorating.
The untangling of long strands of colored lights is left to the guys. It's definitely a “blue” chore. They patiently unwind, check lights, replace as necessary. The gold star is placed on the top first and then they wind the strands around the tree.
We sing Christmas carols. We drink wine. We celebrate each ornament as we unwrap it and hang it on the tree. Rocking horses, nutcrackers, fragile blown glass balls, angels and stars … each bauble seems to have its own story to tell and it takes awhile because they only get to tell their story once a year. The tree is trimmed with fine, warm memories.
We always bring a trinket back for Lin from each place we visit and they find their way into the tree-trimming celebration, too.
Our indoor cats love all the decorations. They especially love the tree. The smell, the feel, (and probably) the taste of it. They nuzzle, rub, sniff and lay beneath it,looking up into the dense needled branches. They tug at ribbons and garlands. Unlike other years, both cats are a bit too chubby to try to climb the tree and for that we are thankful … no anchoring necessary.
And so, the house and tree are ready to celebrate the season. Spirits are high.
Now comes the Christmas shopping to fill up the space under the tree ... or shall we just wait for Santa to do his thing?