My decorating for the holidays weekend didn’t go quite as planned. Let me explain.
Last week I hauled out the fake tree and started setting it up in the basement. I knew there were some lights that were out last year and I wanted to get those taken care of, so I put up the bottom section and went through all the lights to make sure they worked, tweaking and adjusting as we went. I got the middle section up, but had to take off a whole string of lights and put on a new string because half the string just wouldn’t light up. I hadn’t gotten to the top section yet, and got distracted by Thanksgiving. So, Friday morning, I had the kids help me haul up the tree to the living room, moving the furniture out of the way so we could put the tree in the traditional spot in the bay window. When we got the top section on, things did not look right. About half of the top branches were just hanging there, sort of limp. I took off the top section to see that the tree was broken. The only thing holding those branches on were the lights. Probably from being dropped, shoved around, or handled by kids, the tree was broken.
NO!!! I don’t want to have to buy a new tree (budget things and all), and if I WERE to buy a new tree, 10:00 am on Black Friday isn’t the time to realize you need to buy a new tree. If there had been awesome black friday deals, they would be taken by now, and I hadn’t realized my tree was broken, or I would have been shopping around. Everyone knows you buy a new Christmas tree AFTER Christmas to get the best deal, right?
Full of despair, I went upstairs to ask Ryan if he could maybe help with our tree. I decided to look for the lights for the house. I hauled up the huge wreath, found a bunch of other Christmas decorations in our horribly unorganized storage area, but couldn’t find the lights. I found the OLD lights that we used to use, but not the new LED lights that I bought and we first used last year. Looking everywhere in the storage area, I could NOT find those lights. I did find a bunch of stuff that I decided we didn’t need (two non working drum sets for rock band? Really?) and started filling the truck with things to go to DI. While I felt good about getting some (just a tiny fraction, really, but it’s a start) of the junk out, I was frustrated that I couldn’t find the lights. Ryan wasn’t going to get the ladder out to put up the big wreath if he couldn’t just do the lights, too. Ugh. No tree, no lights! And to add insult to injury, I kept seeing ALL these Black FRiday amazing deals, but my budget was empty for the month, and I since we ARE really trying to stick to the budget, I didn’t want to buy anything we really didn’t need, just because it’s a great deal. My day is shot.
I did get out my favorite nativity and set that up, and the kids took a load of stuff to DI, but the day was kind of discouraging.
In the afternoon, a friend from Scarlet Pimpernel messaged me that she had one free ticket to that night’s preview of A Christmas Carol at the Hale Center Theater, and did I want it? (I had previously asked her about attending a preview). Even though it was just one ticket, I said I would love it. I needed to get out of the house, get away from my Christmas frustrations, and go see some of my friends in a show.
As luck would have it, another of her friends cancelled, and she offered me another ticket at the last minute, so I invited Ryan to go with me. Free Date night!
Can you believe I had never seen A Christmas Carol? We did that SCrooge play in Jr High and all, and I’ve seen several tv adaptations and knew the story, but hadn’t seen the play, and I was excited to see it AND support several of my friends who were in the show.
I meant to take some pictures, but didn’t. So, here’s our selfie before the show started.
What a great show!
Six, no make that seven of my friends were in the show that night, and it was such fun to see all of them on stage again. Plus, there were several other friends and people I knew in the audience. Ryan got tired of me telling him who everyone was, but I was just excited for them.
It helped me realize that it’s not the end of the world if my lights don’t get up, and we can deal with our broken tree issues. So thankful that we got the opportunity to go before the season gets really busy.
Saturday dawned with new determination to find those lights. Ryan looked in the storage area, under beds, in our closet, in every closet we could think of. Still could not find them. However, we did start putting up some lights on a couple outside trees, and got a few house decorations up. He even worked on a way to fix our struggling tree.
There’s 3/4 of the tree.
At noon, we were just about to leave to go to lunch with some old friends, and it hit me. I knew where those lights were. “I KNOW where the lights are!” I exclaimed. We went downstairs, and looked not in the storage area, but in the new closet under the stairs. BEHIND all the tables and chairs, were the lights. That closet area had just been finished when we took the lights off in the January or February, and I remember thinking, this will be a GREAT place to store our Christmas things. But then we bought extra tables and chairs for Cole’s mission farewell, and they found a home in that closet. Lights were buried and forgotten.
Hooray! We found the lights!
Here we are at lunch with some of my childhood friends from my ward. That’s Ken Clayton, Chris Cooper, Carolyn Archer, and me and Ryan. Ken was in town and organized the little get together and it was so much fun to catch up with them!
After we got home from lunch, Ryan started on the lights. He didn’t actually get them up, however, because one of the strings was broken and he didn’t know we had two more boxes of lights. BUT, at least we HAVE the lights now, and can get them up soon.
So, no, the lights are not up, the tree is not fixed, the house is still in chaos. BUT, we have made progress.
And talking Santa? He needs to move. Right by the front stairs is NOT a good place for him. He startles us every time we walk by.