I got a lot of my Christmas shopping done last night, so I feel better about that now. Just a few things left to pick up! I still have to write out some cards to send and to give to people at work, but I’m coming to a point where I don’t feel so overwhelmingly behind. (And this feeling of overwhelming behind-ness without even having kids to think about!)
I found myself looking longingly at the toy stores while I shopped last night. I miss when my brother and cousin were young enough to actually want toys. It was so much fun to shop for them! And of course I’d have to wander through the toy aisles, pressing the buttons on the toys that make noise, picking up the teddy bears to see if they were as soft as they looked. Last night I found such an adorable one—a baby’s snuggly doll, so impossibly soft, which looked like the “classic” Winnie the Pooh, wearing pajamas. I mentally ran through and through my gift list, but unfortunately I have no one for whom that would be an appropriate present this year! And of course my little Brendan is FAR too many years in the future for me to buy him a soft Pooh Bear, no matter how adorable.
(Mom, if you’re reading this, please do NOT take the preceding paragraph as a hint! I don’t want it for myself, really!)
My tree is up and decorated—my tradition is to put it up on the first Sunday of Advent. (For purists who complain about fake trees, I’ve always been in apartments where real trees are against the fire code, alas.) Tirithien helped me to decorate it. It’s a smallish tree, 6 feet tall, and after several years of use it’s become a little wobbly, but it’s still fully functional and looks quite nice, as long as you don’t look from the angle of its crookedness.
It’s never been any sort of fancy designer tree like department stores display, nor even one of the elegant trees with lights of all one color. I have two strands of regular multi-colored lights, because my tree is too big to use one strand. It is also too small for two strands, so the end of the second string always gets woven strangely in with the other, and the lightbulb density is much higher at the top of the tree. I got a new garland this year, a beaded garland with silvery and iridescent beads, so it went weaving in and out with the branches and lights.
Then the ornaments. The interesting thing about my ornaments is that some of them are nearly as old as I am, and I remember them from my very earliest years. I would tell Tirithien about them as we hung them up, and he listened to all my little stories about all my little ornaments, all these tiny treasures from Christmases past. And oh, how beautiful that softly lit tree was when we were done!
We’re going to go and pick out an ornament together sometime soon, some new and special piece which is just for us. His idea, a new tradition for a new time for us both. :-)