In my 41 years of life, I have spent a whopping two Christmases away from home. This year marks my third.
The first time was for the millennium, when we went to Sydney and spent Christmas Day on Bondi Beach. Talk about surreal! Girls in Santa bikinis and guys surfing while wearing Santa hats. Ho ho ho!
The second time was only a few years ago. Mr. J and I didn't really decorate the house, as it is not part of his upbringing. So just a few ornaments in my office. But, we spent Christmas eve with friends, laughing, eating, drinking, and being merry. So all was good.
And now my third year. Mr. J is on call all next week, and the tickets back east are ridiculously expensive from our little town of Boise. But I was determined to at least decorate the house and get a little of my Christmas on.
So, tonight, while Mr. J was working, I decided to decorate.
Of course, I didn't start until 9 p.m. Which really isn't a big deal, except for the fact that part of my thrifty Christmas plan was to cut down the little pine in the front yard.
So I trekked out to the "back 40" (of our 0.25-acre plot of land) to find the saw in the shed. Then I trekked across the semifrozen turf to the front yard and proceeded to saw away ... on my hands and knees ... in the pitch black cold night ... alone.
I was huffing and puffing and swearing at the fact that our saw was ridiculously dull (I'll probably find out tomorrow that I used a metal saw rather than the proper wood saw ... oopsie), when I looked up to see someone walking by. I can't even imagine what he related to his friends when he arrived wherever he was going. It probably looked like I was attempting to bury Rosemary's baby or some such sordid thing.
It's not really a Christmas pine. Definitely more Charlie Brown Christmas tree, with falling dead needles every time it shakes and all. But with a little tinsel (leftover from Mr. J's Santa Rampage costume) and several of the ornaments my mom collected for me throughout my upbringing, plus the kinda cool LED lights from Grocery Outlet (I love that store), it brings a touch of festiveness into our home.
I attempted to find some Christmas music to get me in the mood, but to no avail (the station that has been playing carols since BEFORE HALLOWEEN!! had some really crap crap music when I tuned in, and I just couldn't handle it). So instead I put on Pandora and listened to whatever came up. As I was putting on the finishing touches, I realized that the song was Tom Waits "The Road to Peace." What a happy festive little ditty.
There's nothing like putting on the finishing touches to your Christmas Tree while listening to a song about the dismal state of Israel and Palestine.