I'm so lazy, I didn't even post a Christmassy blog. Naughty.
I won't go into boring detail about the amount of food I consumed, the presents I received or all the bloody relaxing I did. I would, however, like to document for the sake of my grandchildren the night we decorated the Christmas tree.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my bro-in-law C brought home a lovely soft-needled fir tree for me, about 9 feet tall. It gets set up in the living room, under the apex of the 12 foot A-frame ceiling. I decreed Thursday evening (20th December) to be the eve of decoration and was informed laconically by C and D that I'd be doing it myself. Huh.
Well, that would be no different than other years. Ever since I've lived under my own roof, I've always decorated the tree myself. Usually I indulge in a snort of some fancy liqueur (Alize is my holiday favourite), flip through the channels until I find a suitably stop-action animated Christmas special and do my business, untrammeled by any outside opinions. Since my recent "with child" status nixed the joys of alcohol, I made do with a wine glass full of taboo Coca Cola.
C begrudingly hauled out several giant boxes of decorations from the depths of his closet. The sheer volume of ornaments might seem weird for a single guy, except I know his mother probably showed up with them on his first Christmas living in Blair's Grove. (She is the unofficial and underappreciated supplier of all necessities here) The decorations are mostly red and gold and gaudy. I had purchased a few tubes of green, silver and gold balls, fondly believing I'd be able to hang them on the tree at Someday farm this Christmas; I decided they'd look just as nice on the Blair's Grove tree.
No sooner had I begun to sip my Coke and contemplate the look of green on green than D and C plunked themselves down in the living room, staring at my handiwork. Oh, I thought, an audience! How nice.
My warm fuzzies disappeared the moment C declared, "Something's missing," went to the stereo and cranked Anne Murray at full power. Gentle reader, I hate Anne Murray. I hate her velvety voice, I hate the way it sounds like she's always smiling when she sings. I don't care if she's Canada's most beloved songstress. I hate her. Don't really know why - I only know that I do. And D and C LOVE her. I mean, REALLY love her. And they have a double CD of Anne Murray Christmas music. Which I had to listen to as I decorated.
It was when Anne was belting out "Christmas in Killarney" that C began to critique my ornament hanging skills.
"That one should go a little further to the left, there, Kimmy."
I moved it to the left.
"I wouldn't just put that there green one so close to the other green one. You gotta mix 'em up a little."
I mixed them up a little.
"Well, how come you're not usin' these silvery ones? See, they go like this, against the light so it shines through."
At this point I tossed my Coke in his face, set fire to the tree and frisbeed Anne Murray into the snow. Okay, I didn't do that, but only because I was arrested by the sight of D. He had disappeared to the basement during C's critiqing session, and now reappeared wearing his younger brother P's childhood hockey helmet and clutching a bottle of homemade hard apple cider. The boys' cider deserves a blog of its own; suffice it to say that it makes women want to fling off their panties and men act 20 years their junior. Which explains the helmet.
"I gotta wear it for protection if I'm gonna help you decorate this tree," he explained as he mounted a rickety chair to help hang tinsel at the top of the tree, uncorked cider bottle in his free hand. Huh. Right.
Well, with C and D's "help," despite the Anne compliation of death soundtrack and liver numbing swigs of cider, we got the tree decorated. And it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. The finishing touch? C's electric toy train set, which is ceremonially placed around the circumference of the trunk and played with during the Christmas season, usually when I'm watching my programmes on TV. Yes, it makes a whilstling train noise. But at least it drowns out the Anne Murray.