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December 10, 2010

It’s finally starting to look like a holiday around here. We got our tree on Tuesday night. It was in the single digits – we always seem to pick the coldest nights for tree buying. It’s our Advent penance. We went back to the nursery where we got ours last year. It’s close, they’re nice, and Mr. Spy and AJ liked that the guy who sells the tree sounds just like Ozzie Guillén. He remembered us from last year and offered us a 25% discount without us having to bargain. He tied the tree on the car, filled our trunk with extra branches, and we were off.

When we got home, we discovered that we’d somehow broken the top branch, the one that sticks straight up and holds the angel, in transit. It wasn’t snapped off, but it was bent in half. I carefully wired it back together with a large amount of florists wire. We are wondering if a magnetic angel might do the trick this year.

Yesterday, I finally found a place that carries the lights I wanted and Mr. Spy put up the lights before he headed into the snow to cover a lecture. After dinner, AJ and I watched the end of Elf, which we’d started the other day (how have I never seen this movie before?), put on some Christmas music, decorated the mantel, and put up a few ornaments. We saved the rest to do all together.

This morning I’m working at the dining room table, because it’s too cold and messy in my basement office. The sun is shining through the bay window behind me. The tree is on the other side of the room by the fireplace. I notice that AJ has set up our two crèche scenes. One is a tiny wooden one from Germany. It lives on a bookshelf. AJ has staked out its space with the two palm trees. Mary, Joseph and the shepherd are all gathered in a tight knot around baby Jesus. The donkey and three sheep, all with some minor injuries due to our former cat’s affection for them, are standing in a neat row at a respectful distance. The colorful Thai scene is laid out on the coffee table. The angel stands at the center behind the baby, with Mary and Joseph opposite. The wise men are heading in from the left, while the shepherd stands on right with his son, whom we call the Little Drummer Boy, even though he has no drum. Since this set is from Thailand, there are no sheep. The shepherd is traveling with a donkey, a camel and an elephant, who appear to be breathing on the baby to keep him warm.

Christmas is celebrated with a minimum of religiosity in this house. We play a lot of religious music, but without commentary. But crèche scenes always fascinated me as a child, as they do AJ. Two years ago, he and The Boy Across the Street decided to play a game with the German set. They pretended Jesus was being kidnapped. They hid him, and promptly forgot where. We found him several months later underneath a boot in the mudroom. I am waiting to see what kind of adventures the figures get into this year. Will, as last year, the elephant go on a wild rampage and trample the wise men? Will the camel give all the people rides? Will the baby make a break for it and go undercover? I’ll keep you posted.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2010 9:41 pm

    Did you like Elf? I think it’s contributed many lines to our perennial family quoteathon: “I like to whisper too!”

  2. December 10, 2010 10:03 pm

    I *loved* Elf. I’m a Christmas traditionalist. I don’t easily accept new movies into my holiday repertoire. But this is a definite keeper. It also reminded me that I think AJ would like Big. And it is definitely highly quotable. “You sit on a throne of lies!” is becoming popular around here, as is “cotton-headed ninnymuggins.”

  3. December 11, 2010 5:46 am

    If only Christmas could be celebrated with a minimum of Christmasosity.

    We got our tree Friday night: the first at Case de IWOM in three years (’07/’08 Hong Kong, ’09 didn’t get home to house until 3PM the 24th due to getting stuck in the USA for five extra days because of REAL snow and travel chaos). It is littered with a seriously odd collection of ornaments picked up on our travels — including four stars from Thailand — and the floor covered with all sorts of packaging material from said ornaments. Himself said he’d ‘do everything’ when it came to decorating so I’m leaving it just as it is while he spends the day at the office making up for the four days he lost over two weeks of road disruption. As tempted as I am to get the living room cleaned up this morning, if I do that, he’ll never learn….

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