Thursday, December 23, 2010

A tree grows in Buffalo

My Christmas tree!

Taken with no flash so you can see the lights.

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.

I was thinking, mostly on the Web log I have been kvetching about how behind I am. And it is true I have been working a lot on the Pennario book. I have this bargain with myself that I want it to the, ahem, editors by the end of the year. And I am darn close!

But as far as Christmas goes, this is funny but I have done a lot right. You know how all year I have been hitting the estate sales and garage sales with my mom? All year we have been buying presents. I mean since last January. All my life I have planned on doing this, getting my gift act together early, buying all my presents in advance. And this is the first year I actually did! Last week I took inventory and I could not believe that I was ready. But I was!

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.

So that is one thing I did right. And it made a big impact! No malls. No last-minute panic.

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. 

I am not used to this kind of organization!

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