Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

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My Beautiful Mystery Companion decided in mid-October to skip the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations that usually grace our home and go straight to Christmas. Since she is in charge of decorating, something I happily acquiesce to, my primary job was helping to get the plastic crates out of the attic. Actually, she had most of them down before I realized what was happening, since I often live in a state of unawareness. I wasn’t much help anyway, given my bum shoulder.

A word about attic stairs. Ours are in the garage ceiling, a typical pull-down contraption likely designed by the same sadist who designed PTO couplings on farm implements. The three sets of ladder rungs fold down as you struggle to keep them from crashing down upon your head. The opening into the attic is only 18 inches wide, and the angle of the ladder once fully deployed is steep. The only practical way to wrestle these plastic bins to the floor is to balance them above one’s head and descend one rung at a time, all the while hoping the bin doesn’t slip off sideways and crash into the floor, shattering some of the Santa collection and requiring me to pull out the Duco cement and make repairs.

That  actually  happened with one bin, which ended up sideways on the floor, the bin and a few Santas cracked.

“That’s it,” my BMC said. “We’re not putting those back in the attic again.” I concurred, of course.

I did hang the stars over the picture windows and put up the artificial tree. We are waiting for daughter Abbie to arrive at Thanksgiving to actually decorate the tree. In coming weeks, we will head out into the woods and find another Charlie Brown Christmas tree to stick on the back patio and festoon with randomly hung lights. Last year, we cut down one of the many cedar seedlings growing beneath the forest canopy and never getting very tall. I figure that is the plan this year as well.

It took my BMC much of the day to put out the rest of the decorations. I stayed out of the way unless summoned to hang a nail or fix another broken figurine.

Two of my favorite decorations are a pair of wooden Nutcracker figures that are nearly as tall as me. They stand guard at the front door. The Christmas stockings hang from a bookcase in the living room. That seems fitting for a family of avid readers. The antique buffet’s top in the living room is filled with Santas collected over the years.

The decorations are cheerfully and tastefully arranged by my BMC, who for years has scoured stores after Christmas for bargains. She swears she plans to begin culling the collection after this holiday season. We shall see. It really doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. As long as we do not put them in the attic again.


I am waiting to hang the garland along the white cross fence at our driveway’s entrance until after Thanksgiving. We also hang large ornamental balls below the garland. This takes most of an afternoon since it spans about 50 feet on either side of the entrance. I use cable ties to attach the garland and twine for the globes. I am also waiting until after the turkey has been digested and the crawfish dressing devoured to put up one of the few Christmas decorations that I brought into this marriage more than a dozen years ago. It is a ceramic creche that is nearly as old as me. It was part of my parents’ household when I was growing up in New Hampshire, with baby Jesus in a tiny cradle, attended by Mary and Joseph, the three Wise Men nearby, along with a sleeping cow and a bleating sheep. My mother gave it to me several years before she passed in 2011. It brings back sweet memories.


Even the Christmas cactus is getting into the holiday season well before Thanksgiving. With the first freeze of the season coming a bit early, in late October, we brought plants inside that spend the warmer months under a tree down by the wellhouse. It is a shady spot that the cactus and jade plants really love, as well as the Christmas cactus, a gift several years ago to my BMC from her brother George. It is already starting to bloom, weeks earlier than usual. The plants love their spot on a folding table next to the picture windows.

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here, as Thanksgiving pokes its head around the corner.

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