Here we are at the end of yet another holiday season. I hope everyone’s was merry and bright! Mine certainly was – I had a tree.
That’s right, I said tree! Because in the new apartment, Baby refuses to come into the living room. There’s hardwood flooring in the entry way, which is between the bathroom/bedrooms section of the apartment and the living/room/kitchen areas. She refuses to cross it, even though she spent much of her early life in a home with all wood flooring. We even bought her a soft carpet runner, and she still wouldn’t cross. That meant I could have a tree without worrying about her eating the light cords. I also realized that I could easily store a very small tree under the shoes in my shoe closet, and use the box as a shoe display. I simply had to find a tree that would work in terms of size and price, and still be pretty enough to suit me. And I did, at Target. It’s actually small enough that if Baby decides to branch out by next year, I can easily put it on a table instead of sitting it on the floor.
I was really sad leaving my tree behind when I moved, but it was nice knowing that Mom and Dad got some use out of it. Husband and I talked it over, and I spent several days hemming and hawing about whether I’d actually buy the thing (and whether I’d get clear or colored lights). I’m really happy that I did. I had really missed having a tree.
I also wanted to do it for Shelly because she always loved undecorating a tree and playing with the ornaments and napping under it. Unfortunately, she didn’t do much of either. I don’t know if it’s the fact that she hasn’t had a tree in a couple of years, or if Malice beat her to it, or if she’s just outgrown such things, but she didn’t do a lot of ornament stealing (Malice did). I think it might have been a bit too small and low to the floor for many under-the-tree naps, as well. But she did bat around some of the ornaments Malice snatched! And she did steal several Hershey’s Kisses out of the candy bucket (don’t worry, readers – she doesn’t eat them, she just likes to bat them around because they are shiny and have flags). So I know that the kittenish spirit she’s always had is still in there somewhere.
You might think I was nuts for buying a tree with a kitten in the house, but that’s half the fun. I got to decorate it numerous times. The only thing that really ticked me off was that she broke one of the lower branches by laying on it. She has also turned it over a couple of times. She’s actually the only cat I’ve ever had who paid this much attention to the tree itself…she likes to rub her face on the branches.
We were a bit disappointed with the ornament selection this year. Everything that didn’t have glitter on it was made of glass, both being no-nos. Only two ornaments didn’t make it on the tree at all: Godzilla and Sheamus. Godzilla is awesome but was a bit on the heavy side, and we didn’t realize Sheamus was made of glass until he arrived.
For the first time ever, we went to our neighborhood’s tree lighting and got there in time to see the actual tree lighting! Our neighborhood makes a big production out of throwing the switch. The shops and restaurants offer special deals or samples, there’s always hot cider and cocoa of some description, horse and carriage rides, and face painting for the kids. Even on the occasions when we’ve gotten to walk down to the village for cider and/or dinner, something has always kept us from The Main Event until this year. It was really neat! The only disappointment was that one of the restaurants was advertising fried dough but didn’t come through (honestly this restaurant has been a huge disappointment all around since it opened, so I don’t know why we got our hopes up).
As is our holiday tradition, Husband and I went to George Washington’s Mount Vernon for Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Each year as they take you through the house, the guides and characters enact scenes and tell stories from different Christmases at George Washington’s home. You get to see rooms that aren’t always open to the public. They have colonial dancing, caroling, and musicians, and Aladdin the camel is available for petting and photo ops. They also serve ginger cookies and hot apple cider. Unfortunately, Aladdin was sound asleep when we finished our tour this year.
While we were in Mexico, we realized that we hadn’t placed an order for Christmas dinner. Which probably wasn’t a bad thing, given how sick we were. We did have time to get mac & cheese and gingerbread men from our favorite bakery down the street , which was more than good enough.
We don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve this year. It’s not a big deal for us, really. For me it just marks the end of another holiday season and means I have a lot of dreary winter left to get through before spring and summer. I think I’m going to spend New Year’s Day carefully packing away my tree and decorations for next year.
I hope everyone had a warm and wonderful holiday season, and wish you all the brightest of blessings in the new year!