Holiday Preparations

There was a time when every inch of our house in Ojai was decorated for Christmas. Over the years I picked up items to add to any unadorned surface.  Usually by Christmas day it began to feel a bit claustrophobic.

A few years we took vacations and I chose to do quick tree decorating since we would be gone for the week after Christmas and hate having so much to put away when returning to work and school straight from the flight.

The year we went to Aruba I only adorned the tree with pinecones, berries and big white poinsettias from Ben Franklin.  This picture reminds me that I have to look for Santa.

The year we went to Whistler it looks like we put up a few ornaments but used  white snow flakes from Macy’s to fill up the tree.  The packages don’t even have bows.  Oh the humiliation.

Last year we moved into the Shack two weeks before Christmas.  Every room of the house was being painted or worked on in some way.  On Christmas Eve the boys brought in the artificial tree and shamed me into taking a moment and throwing on those pinecones, berries and some burlap ribbon.  The close up hides the drywall dust and bare wood floors.

This year Spencer has a basketball tournament over break and we probably won’t get away during the holidays until after he graduates.  The boys decided it is time to do up the house, big time.  Well really, they get out the boxes and I do up the house.

They got every box out of the barn and stacked them on the back porch.  Pressure!   We even bought a live, much bigger tree the day after Thanksgiving.  Usually we travel at Thanksgiving to my parents ranch.  We didn’t this year since the cousins were returning from college.  No excuses this year for slim trimmings.

Out came seven of those boxes with just ornaments.  I barely managed to cram them onto the much bigger tree.  I had to spread the red ribbon a bit thin, might need to rethink that next year.  I had to buy four more strings of lights and sort of threw them onto the branches.   One year I tried wrapping the branches and could hardly get them off of the dead tree after Christmas.  It did look good.  Honestly though,  maybe I never unloaded all the boxes before.  How could they barely fit with at least two extra feet of tree?   Not even a pine cone, poinsettia or snowflake in sight.  That is another three boxes still as yet untouched.

Then it actually rained in California and is expected to continue through Sunday.  Are you kidding me?  I covered the boxes with a tarp and haven’t touched them since.  Now I can’t decide how much more decorating to tackle since there are still so many undone projects around the Shack.  But then again, it isn’t even December yet…that leaves lots of time for embellishing before the big day.  Plus I will be in big trouble if the boys have to take all of those boxes back to the barn still full.  BIG TROUBLE!!!

















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