We did finally get a tree up. We put all 800 or so lights on it and, yes, I tested the lights first, only for several strands to crap out once all connected. My husband ran out and bought all new lights. Nice guy, right? He brought back 800 LED lights. I know, I know. They’re more energy efficient and blah blah blah. Not only that, they’re blue. Even when the box says white. And yes, we tried the “warm” ones. Still blue.
Before you tell me I’m acting like a spoiled brat, what with my complaining about the lights, The Man mostly agreed, and The Kids said the new blue lights looked terrible. Back to the store he went, returning with eight strands of regular, cheap, run of the mill white lights. He got the tree completely relit, which, because of a faulty fuse or something, went out again within minutes of being plugged in. I’m not sure how many total strands we’re looking at right now, and only some of them are illuminated, but the tree looks gorgeous. Finally.
We barely got the stockings hung, our nutcrackers just made it to the mantle, and we used break and bake cookie dough for Santa. That last one stings a little, but not for the reason you think. I don’t bake, but you people do. We weren’t given a single Christmas baked good this year. Not a piece of fudge. No seven layer bars! None of those cookies with the Hershey’s kisses in them. I’m a very forgiving person, and I also take rain checks. We survived.
The pile of tissue paper remains, along with empty shirt boxes that we seriously can’t throw away, because I will totally reuse them and the gift bags we got. Yeah, yeah. Put them in the closet with the others, because we didn’t reuse those, either. I have a large collection, with at least one for every occasion, hanging neatly in a closet. One can never be too sure, and when I’m standing in the gift wrap aisle in Walgreens, I’m never sure.
The Kids seem happy with their gifts. New bikes, a tambourine, a little bongo drum, board games, a ukulele, and so many other things are in a pile in our den. Lucky kids.
We also got one of those Echo things, where you talk to Alexa about, well, whatever you want. I’ve found her useful for telling me the weather around the world, turning the volume down on the music (because it’s just too exhausting to push those pesky little buttons on the phone all by myself), and answering random questions, such as, “who lives in a pineapple under the sea.” I’m sure I’ll figure out her capabilities eventually, but at the moment, she seems like a valid excuse to talk to myself — with responses. I can’t wait to hear her cuss.
The news of Carrie Fisher’s death popped up on my phone a few minutes ago. Add to the list Sharon Jones, George Michael, David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Prince, Florence Henderson, Nancy Reagan and so many more, and you’ve got folks calling for 2016 to hurry up and end already. Trust me. I get it. I spent the better part of 2016 caring for my mother and mourning her loss.
Don’t people die every year? I’m not being insensitive. 2016 wasn’t my best year, either. It’s not the worst, though. Aren’t you still here? Looking, listening, breathing and drinking wine? That last part may only apply to me. Suit yourself.
Count your blessings. Learn from the things that aren’t. Love your people, people. Here’s to you and yours in what’s sure to be a prosperous 2017. Cheers!