family, You crawl over there......

Gifts, Traditions, and Trees

I’m still not up to deep blog topics, although I was awfully tempted by Derek Lowe’s article on chirality and the architecture of life as we know it. If you know anything about chemistry, take a look, it’s got some nifty ideas in it. Maybe I will come back around to that later when I can brain better.

The flu is nasty. I haven’t been this sick since my last bout with pneumonia, and just like that, I’m not bouncing back from this. We’ve been told it could take us two weeks to reach normal levels again, which given the time of year is a little frustrating. I’m not pushing – I will be back at work, but the extra stuff is going to be even further curtailed. I had plans… sigh.

The First Reader and I were talking this morning about gift wrapping. I did probably 90% of my Christmas shopping through good ol’ Amazon, so I have a stack of boxes in my room and the dining room. I told him, rather glum, that we might just open random boxes on Christmas morning. “what’s in this one?” Oh, that’s yours, and that’s yours…

That would be fun, he said. We’ll do it however we can.

That we will. I’m not, and have never been, one for elegance. This is highly casual even for me… I’m really going to try to at least do gift bags. If I find the time and energy. But really, does it matter? I’ve not gotten to the point where I will stuff all the kids gifts in one big bag and hand it to them – we do a process where each person gets a present from under the tree, handed to them by the designated ‘elf’ and then opening happens individually in turn. I’ve never been a fan of the free-for-all approach, which is disrespectful to the gifts and gift-givers alike. We were not rich, growing up, so each gift was treasured. Oh, sure, socks and underwear… both the kids at home asked for fuzzy socks in their stockings this year. They like fun fuzzy socks.

I’ve tried to carry that on to now, and as the kids were very young it was a good exercise in patience, but even when they were little they understood that it’s fun to watch someone else open a gift, too. And we talk, and drink our coffees and cocoas – with a candy cane in it, of course! – and it’s a pleasant way to pass a Christmas morning. Usually the afternoons are spent playing with gifts – and there’s usually a board game in the lot, so that is highest play-priority. Which reminds me that there is a gift I need to wrap. At least one!

I was both sad and not-sad about settling on a fake tree this year, but after this bout of flu I’m solidly on the side of not-sad. I miss the smell of Balsam Fir, but it doesn’t seem to be a kind of tree grown in this area. On the other hand, no-one would have watered the tree while the adults were sick, so we’d have a stick tree by now! The fake doesn’t look bad even from a fairly close range, and it went up quickly with my Ginja Ninja knocking it into shape. I am looking forward to taking it down without the traditional shower of dead dry needles, for sure. We were still finding needles from last year’s tree while we were setting up ornaments! Blue Spruce needles are the worst. Dry, I swear you could sew with them.

I must admit that at the moment I’m mostly looking forward to Christmas being over and past and routines back in place again. I’ll find the spirit of the season again, it’s just a bit dim behind the reality of low energy and things left undone that I had planned. There’s so much… but I can’t do it all. If the gifts come in surprise boxes this year, then they do. And the kids will still enjoy what they got. And hopefully the First Reader will like his big surprise.

Dragon in Mug
Hot Chocolate Ahh! I managed a little painting while sick. Watercolor brush markers are great for low-fuss art.

5 thoughts on “Gifts, Traditions, and Trees

  1. Well, Cedar, the thing to remember, is that we are in the season of Advent right now. Christmas is best celebrated AFTER Christmas day during the 12 Days of Christmas. After all the hoopla is over everyone can relax for two weeks. Kids of school gives time for all those family activities and games.

    My mom and dad always like that time the best of all. I’m beginning to understand why ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. From experience I suggest using a dry lube at the tree’s joints before you stow it.
    If one tends to pay only casual attention to the instructions, it is possible to assemble the middle sections out of order.
    This results in two people standing back, doing the slow blink, and thinking, “What the heck is wrong with the tree?”

    1. LOL! I don’t think I’ll tell the kids that one, lest I walk into the living room next year and find they have gotten… creative.

      I’ll find out if the First Reader has any dry lube. Um… yeah, I’m just walking away from that now.

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