We had a quiet Thanksgiving for four here at our house last week. Greg made a turkey, even though he's the only one who really loves it. He says it was the best turkey he ever made, though, so I guess it was worth it. Over the course of the weekend, we completed a viewing of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy- extended cut. I'm not sure we'd ever watched the extended cut of the last movie before because at one point Jack let out an indignant, "Dude! Aragorn just TUCKED HER IN!" As if to say, "A burly Ranger, Protector of Hobbits, King of All Men and wielder of a HUGE sword, does NOT tuck girls in. Gross."
I'm heading to Germany tomorrow along with my mother to visit my brother and his wife. It seemed like a good idea a few weeks ago, but right now in the middle of the holiday crush, I don't know. Because of this, we've already kick started our Christmas preparations. Two days after Thanksgiving, we were just about the first family to buy a Christmas tree at Home Depot. We've never been in and out of there so fast.
When we got our tree home we realized it was a little on the shrimpy side and we could have gone up another foot. This one is not very big around the bottom. I've learned to love all our trees, though. They always have their own idiosyncrasies- a big gap somewhere or a drooping branch or a trunk so big around that it breaks the tree stand and causes Greg to say some very un-Christmas-y words as he rushes to the store for a new one.
When the tree was almost done, I noticed the boys circling the tree each with a final ornament in hand. I realized that each boy was waiting for the other to put his ornament on the tree so he could be the last one. We agreed to count to three and both boys would put their ornaments on the tree at the same time. Then they'd both be last. So we counted one- two- three- tada! And Sam laughed and held up the ornament he hadn't put on yet. He was chastised for cheating and then we did it again. One-two-three-tada! And Sam laughed and held up his ornament AGAIN! So one more time and this was the final time- one-two-three! Sam held up his empty hands, he had finally put his ornament on the tree- tada! And Jack, in retribution of the previous attempts held up his ornament, not on the tree and said, "Ha ha!"
Then, as if he hadn't just done the same thing (Twice!) Sam yelled, "No fair, Jack! That's cheating!" and stomped off to his room berating Jack while the Hallelujah chorus played on the stereo speakers.
Moments later, because I guess there hadn't been enough excitement, I tried to use the pruners to cut a branch off the bottom of the tree. There was a loud POP! and then all the lights on the tree went out.
I said some un-Christmas-y words and tried not to cry because, as much as I loved all the family togetherness involved in decorating the tree (see above), the thought of taking it all down and starting over again was too much to bear. I had spent all weekend being thankful, but I was once again thankful for Greg because he knows how to rewire Christmas lights while they're still hanging on the tree and he can do it in a totally non-judgmental way.