Christmas decorating day. It used to be the first Saturday in December, but in recent years it has moved up to the day after Thanksgiving. As the turkey utters its last gobble, the Christmas tree is pulled out of the garage by my dad and sister. Actually, that makes it sound too easy. In fact, it’s a great struggle to get the tree down from the rafters. Yes, I said down from the rafters. We now have a fake tree. No more sweet-smelling piney goodness. But at least we have a perfect looking tree with no huge gaps or diminishing pine needles. Although a little imperfection can be nice.
My mom works pretty hard on Christmas decorating day. She makes sure that every single crevice of the house is graced with some sort of Christmas decoration. Last year, she had me take pictures of every room so that she could remember where everything was placed. Throughout the year, she would ask me, “You still have those Christmas pictures, right?” “You didn’t delete my Christmas pictures did you?” Somehow, I managed to keep those pictures on the camera all year, but I never actually transferred them onto a computer. Sadly enough, a few months back we lost the camera. Poor mom.
My mom is so attached to the Christmas decorations, that somehow there are always a couple of items that get left up all year. One of our Christmas ornaments hangs from a light in our downstairs bathroom perpetually. A few years back we made some little snowmen out of socks and rice. One of the snowmen got overstuffed and has been dubbed “Fatty.” My mom has tried to make Fatty one of her year round decorations, but Emily and I have kept this desire at bay. It’s taking things a little too far to have a snowman out all year.
Every family member takes part in decorating the house. My dad meticulously puts on the Christmas tree lights making sure that every branch is covered. Every year, half of the Christmas lights aren’t working so we made a little trip to Michael’s. Emily and I are in charge of putting the garland on the banisters, putting ornaments on the tree, and setting up the little nativity scene figures that my Grandma Shaw painted. One of the donkeys lost an ear, so this year Emily and I named him Malchus. I'm pretty sure we ripped that name off the Archers who had a wooden giraffe with a missing ear...who is now owned by Melissa Johnson and all the girls over at that apartment. Oh well.
We managed to finish the Christmas decorations a bit early this year, around 6:00 p.m. which is pretty amazing considering how decked out the house is. By the time we were finished, Emily had found this taped-off-T.V. Christmas movie called The Christmas Toy that was done by Jim Henson. We hadn’t seen it since we were little and I remember really loving it. I don’t remember being scared of the characters as a kid, but some of them really creep me out now. Since we were working all day we went out to eat at Coco’s where we were seated near some ladies who looked as if they were straight out of the early eighties. As my dad put it, their hair was about 10 feet tall. I saw one man walk by and do a double take. We finished up the night by watching a Christmas movie. Yay! The Christmas season has started!