You remember yesterday when I said I’d have pictures of a completed tree today barring life happening? Well, it did.
My son and his family stopped by to say good bye before heading back up to the mountains, armed with cups of Starbuck’s Christmas blend coffee, bless their hearts. It turned into a little bit of a visit as Joshua entertained us with his hysterically funny 3 year old views of the world. We laughed and laughed, and it was well worth getting a late start on the tree!
I have a pre-lit artificial tree (the ONLY way to go if you expect perfection in a Christmas tree – which I do!) and it doesn’t have enough lights to please me, so I add about 5 strands of a different type of lights to give it the pizazz I NEED for it to have. I was busy going up and down the giant ladder (at great risk to body and life!) to add those lights, when I noticed that a big swath of the permanent lights around the bottom of the tree had gone out. They were on earlier, but now they weren’t.
You have to understand how completely anal I am about my Christmas tree to understand what a tragedy that is.
I stood there in near shock for a minute, before I sat down and started trouble-shooting the problem. I pretty quickly determined that it was a bad problem and was going to take many hours of work to remedy, and started mentally going over my options for gerry-rigging a simpler solution for this year. I was proud of myself for not having a meltdown. I just approached the situation methodically, and decided to go buy a couple of extra strands to put over the original lights, then I’ll pull out the bulbs that aren’t lighting up where they are visible. Then after the holidays I’ll take a day to re-light that section properly. No one will know my dirty little secret but me, and I can live with it for one year.
So, I figured that if I had to get pulled off task, and since I was so good about not freaking out, I would treat myself to a much needed mani-pedi while I was out.
If you have not yet discovered the sheer wonder of a manicure and pedicure, you have no idea what you are missing. If I could not afford one, it would be worth the humiliation of standing on a corner and singing for the money to get one, a humiliation only slightly less awful than standing nekked on said corner.
It’s not that the whole experience is wonderful. But the torture of having the bottoms of one’s feet scoured, for what seems like an eternity, gives way to the heavenliness of having those feet soaked in hot paraffin, then rubbed with lotion and oil and swathed in hot towels, while simultaneously having one’s arms and shoulders massaged as the spa chair kneads up and down your spine.
An hour and a half later, having been reduced to a pampered pile of wet noodle contentment, it was back to the real world, and dealing with the imperfectness of my perfect tree, but at least I was in a much better frame of mind! And, I had cute toes once again.
They are the ONLY part of my body I am happy with, but I still have a tendency to let them get pretty ragged-looking in the cold weather when they pretty much live in socks. Time management sometimes requires a compromise in one’s standards. Anyway, self care is a very important part of holiday preparations, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
So, back home, and back to the tree. To ad insult to injury, one of the strands of extra lights developed a short, so it was back to the store AGAIN. This is one of those times when I’m glad I live in civilization instead of the boonies! Another couple of hours and my decorating time has now been eaten up, and all I have been able to get accomplished is the lights and the addition of foundations greens – I’m telling you, this is going to be a work of art. Eventually. Fortunately, I have three more days to play if I need them.