Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Olio - Holiday Edition

Shopping is much less stressful when your children are adults.  The newlyweds wanted unpurchased items from their registry.  Big Cuter wants jeans and a sweater and he wants to go with me and pick them out.  TBG and I need nothing and want even less.

It's easier, true.  It's also a lot less fun.
Last year I bought our tree at WallyWorld.  It was inexpensive and they put it in my car and I drove around the corner and I was home.  The tree was so healthy, so vibrant, so verdant, that it dropped not a single green dribble on the floor.  I kept it up through all twelve days of Christmas.  I couldn't let it go.

This year, hoping to repeat my success, I ran into the yard, picked one that looked straight-trunked and full, and ran right home.  I put on the base all by myself and carried it all into the house unaided.  Then I stood it up.

Cascades of dead needles fell on my head.  Clumps of brown needles were nestled in every crotch of every branch.  Adding ornaments was a feat of balance and care; the branches were so dry that heavy ornaments cracked them.

Next year I'm bringing an Episcopal along; Jewish girls are obviously not well trained in the selection of indoor ornament holders.
I did a very good job of culling the crap from my ornament boxes.  I no longer have scads of red and green and white balls in all sizes.  In fact, I have no undecorated balls at all.  The ugly, the unknown origin, the handmade have all been distributed to Goodwill or the child who created them.

What's left is a chronicle of my life. The angel Little Cuter made at a holiday party when she was five sits atop the tree. It was once a white paper plate; now it is a memory I'll cherish forever.  The skier Big Cuter bought when I dragged his cranky fourth grade self to the mall is hiding behind the lacrosse sticks and the New Orleans tree and the MackenzieChilds glass globe.

It's nice to go back in time.  I just wish the tree were worthy of its adornments.
I finally removed the zinnias from the outdoor containers.  Several have reseeded themselves in the ground; one of God's little miracles that I treasure every morning when I raise the bedroom shades.  The amaryllis I planted in the containers out front have grown tall and straight but seem to be waiting for something to make them bloom.

It's going down into the high twenties tonight; perhaps that chill is what they need to open.  If not, I'll find them bent over and frozen in the morning.  I have to pick the Meyer lemons earlier than I'd like because they won't survive below freezing.

Gardening in the desert is always a source of amusement.
The Happy Ladies Club was taking another walk this afternoon.  My pilates appointment precluded my joining them, but lunch was part of the activity and I've never been known to miss a meal.  Barb hadn't seen me since she snowbirded back to Wisconsin last fall.  Her astonishment at how well I was walking since last she'd watch me traverse a room was the best present I could have gotten.

I know I'm making progress.  It's nice to see it on someone else's face.
I've been wearing my reindeer sweatshirt all day. There's no snow, I don't have gloves or a scarf or a hat, but it's December and Santa is on his way and my outfit will reflect that fact.... no matter how ridiculous I look.

Little Cuter's words stay with me at times like these, when I leave the house with absurd attire: Mom, the world needs more people like you!


  1. "nestled in every crotch of every branch."
    You are hysterical, A/B!!!!

    Enjoy the could be our last. ;)

  2. LOL, Liz! Hubby showed me this pix the other day. Made me chuckle.

    AB, I don't do plants or trees of any kind. Hubby does the tree--even decorating it. He always checks the branches and if they seem brittle in any way, he will not choose that tree. He's very meticulous about it; like picking out a piece of fruit.

    That's totally a bummer about the needles falling off. I hope it lasts at least until after Christmas.

    I'm with you too on the as they get older it's not as much fun. I love being able to have presents to open for my kids. As they get older though, they want gift cards and more expensive stuff; so there isn't as much. At least my three year-old likes the inexpensive stuff. I'm talking Five Below puzzles etc... Easy!

    I love Christmas attire. I was wearing a snowflake fleece yesterday. It's actually one of my favorites and I get kind of irked that I can only wear it at Christmas time. It's so comfy and warm.

    Happy Thursday!

    Megan xxx

  3. My grown boys just send me the Amazon link to their gift - it's no fun at all for me. We had to go to an artificial tree years ago since the place for the tree is not far enough away from our woodstove. The last few years we had a tree from the Lions Club lot it was so brittle I had to take it down on the 26th which is way earlier than I want the tree down. I can keep the artifical one up until New Years day! And Megan, I say you can wear a snowflake fleece all winter long. Even if you live in Tucson, it's snowing somewhere! Now AB's reindeer sweatshirt, that does have a more limited season! But I'm sure it does not look ridiculous, 'tis the season after all. AB, are you willing to share your brownie recipe? They must be even more delicious than most brownies since it's a treasured gift by your recipients.

  4. Ah, the brownie recipe.... it will be my Christmas Gift to my readers on the 25th.

    Like you, Megan, I live in my holiday clothes and wear nothing else b/c they are time constrained. It feels silly enough to be wearing reindeer when it's in the 60's in December, let alone if I were to try it in October in the 80's.

    I solved my "wish I could buy something fun" problem by getting a few gifts for Stuff the Hummers and Toys for Tots. I couldn't wrap them, I couldn't watch the kids open them, but I certainly enjoyed the pieces I had.

    Happy Pre-Holiday Weekend!

    1. THE FAMOUS BROWNIE RECIPE IS COMING TO THE BURROW!? ...are you kidding me!? Dreams do come true, DeNZieNs!!! (I've honestly got no idea what the hell a DeNZieN is, but that's what we are referred to in this space. Is it the same as a minion of sorts?!) LoL

      ::GiDDy with EXCiTeMeNT:: <3

    2. ::DeNZieN DeFiNeD::

  5. YAY! I will so look forward to the posting of the recipe! I will not be online again until the 26th, so Merry Christmas to anyone who happens to see this before then!


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