Sunday, December 6, 2009


Peaceful Sunday night. Ah, time to wrap up one week and start the next. I'll be taking time to write papers in the weeks before Christmas, but to be able to relax, the house has to be in order. Between dinners, parties, and other obligations, it's a busy season.

When we were first married, we had as little Christmas decor as the next young couple. Gradually, when our kids were little, our accumulation began to grow. We used to have a 15' live tree each year, so a lot of ornaments and lights dissapeared into its branches.

While I was out yesterday, Jono, Breanna, and friend Rachel put up the tree and wrapped a garland and ribbon around the stair. Other years, we've paid wonderful student helpers, but this year we assigned decorating as the weekend chore for Jono and Breanna. W and I came home from a Christmas party and were surprised at how much they had accomplished... and how many ornaments, garlands, and lights were still in boxes. One of the kids explained, "We like the light look." HA, good line. Sadly for them, I like it better with lots of lights sparking off lots of ornaments.

Since the kids scattered yesterday, we spent the afternoon today placing the remaining decorations. We draped garlands, put the rest of the lights and ornaments up, and decorated the family room and kitchen.

What a chore. We were all tired at the end of set-up; never mind that W and I were invited to a birthday party 35 miles away this evening. We left the kids to put the last ornaments up and stow the rest away. The tree and family room looked fabulous when we got back home.

When our kids marry, we hand off the personalized ornaments bought them each year. It's easy to see what they were interested in: my folks and we bought according to what what the kids did that year. As our teenagers grew resistant to decorating our home, we loaned 5 or 6 bags of decorations to the college. In recent years, we women employees are getting older and less interested in fooling around at work, putting things up and taking them down again. So I brought the stuff back home and we're using it here again.

In the morning, we'll turn on the Christmas lights to enjoy the view. I'll probably swim for a half hour before steeping a pot of tea and carrying a pretty teacup to my desk. Lay out textbooks and completed surveys before sorting and outlining. Tonight, there's pleasure both in finishing a task and in looking forward to the next challenge.

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