Trimmed with the inspiration of Carmen Dragon's Christmas album plus after that Howard playing the piano. I put on a string of 100 lights I got for $4 at Goodwill and then I turned without warning into Clark Griswold and added another string.
In my family it is normal to buy things from garage sales for each other. We are actually not supposed to spend more than $10 on each other. This was raised from $5 not too many years ago. The trick is to score the biggest bargain you can. It is not unusual in our family to ask, guess how much I paid for this, and then brag that you got it for a quarter. Then everyone else admires and praises you. And the recipient feels honored to have been presented with the spoils of the hunt.
Also last night I got most of my presents wrapped and over to my mom's in advance of Christmas. That is another thing I have always wanted to do yet never done. Every Christmas there I usually am schlepping all these presents in addition to a ham and cookies and whatever -- through, I might add, our inevitable Christmas snowstorm. So I have improved that situation too.
The one down side of all this excitement: Last night after I took the picture of the Christmas tree I could not sleep.