Monday, December 03, 2012

Christmas Planning

Every year about this time I get into the pre-Christmas-gotta-get-all-this-stuff-done mode. And I usually get-all-this-stuff-done, but not always on time and not always within budget. Here's how things are shaping up at the start of this first full week in December, with only about three weeks until Christmas ...

1. The Christmas tree is up and decorated, and the holiday decorations are up all over the house. This year we succumbed to the ultimate holiday short-cut: we bought a 7.5-foot pre-lit tree. It weighs about 8,000 pounds, comes in three pieces, and fits together neatly with two electrical connections between the three sections. It took me about 15 minutes to put up, as opposed to our old tree that consisted of about 275,000,000 color-coded branches of various sizes that slotted into two major trunk sections, also color coded*, had to be strung with six hopelessly-tangled strands of lights, large numbers of which petulantly refused to light each year, and took all day to complete. The new tree is much easier and is very attractive. Come back after Christmas when I have to get it back into the box, and we'll see how much I like it then.

2. My annual Christmas letter to friends is written. You may recall that my custom is to write one master letter which goes to my friend Toni in North Carolina, who always wants to know everything. I then edit the master letter to send to our other friends, depending on what they would be interested in knowing. The pile of edited letters is getting bigger, and I plan to be able to get them all in the mail by the end of the week.

3. I haven't started addressing Christmas cards yet, but it will go fast once I get going.

4. Christmas shopping for the grandchildren is nearly complete ... only one more gift to go. Since we now have to ship things overseas to the Munchkins in Germany, I need to get those packages out soon.

5. I'm still asking Agnes for her Christmas wish lists. Yes, lists. I always need two: one of the things she wants, and a shorter version that lists the things she wants that I can afford. My friend Helen, the self-appointed Gift Appropriateness Overseer, has already asked her traditional question of whether I have bought Agnes something expensive and sparkly**.

6. I have completed my traditional shredding of the envelope helpfully provided by my newspaper delivery person for the awarding of holiday tips. When the year comes that my paper is actually delivered on time (that is, before I leave for work), I'll leave a tip. Yes, I'm being Scroogy on this. Sue me.

So, ho-ho-ho. I'm more or less on track for the holidays. How about you? Break out the egg nog, hang up the mistletoe, and send the lumps of coal and bags of sawdust to your favorite member of Congress*** ... Christmas is just three weeks from tomorrow.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* As you may know, my color vision is a bit wonky, and Agnes had to sort out all the color-coded branches and tell me where each fit into the trunk.

** One year, I bought Agnes a very expensive computer program she wanted. Helen was horrified: "You bought Agnes zeroes and ones for Christmas??!!"

*** Forget your disgust with their non-performance for a while and send an appropriate gift to your GOP Scrooge or your Democratic Santa.


The Mistress of the Dark said...

This year we are only decorating. No presents anywhere except the nephews because dad's co-insurance bills from his procrit shots have killed the budget.

Amanda said...

You're making me feel bad. I actually had a post completed about how I'm not yet in the Christmassy mood but then didn't publish it because it made me feel even more slack.

KKTSews said...

Three weeks!!!! OMG, I just got over it suddenly being December. I didn't need that reminder of my lack of progress on Christmas preparations. And here I was all excited that the decorations are all up. Good job, Bilbo. BTW, toss the box for the tree--it won't fit back in there. Ours is wrapped in huge sheets of plastic (old shower curtain and paint drop cloths) for off-season storage. No way was it going back in the box.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Bill, sparkly is always a good choice!! That is my motto anyway. I have one of those pre-lit trees and I Love it! Yes, getting it back into the box the first time is a hoot - have some of that homemade eggnog. But next year you'll know and you'll have it down and boxed in no time.

Mike said...

It is 75 and sunny here today. I was out cutting the grass and muching leaves.