I’ve spent the day finishing HMO’Keefe’s Christmas tree. I’ve been working on this for more than a week now. It’s a pre-lit tree, but whole sections refused to light. I checked bulbs, cords, fuses, the alignment of stars and planets, and everything else and nothing, nada, zip, could persuade the lights to work.
I decided to put up HMOK’s tree in the guest room primarily so his daughter could enjoy it when he comes to visit, but also because it is a slim tree and fit into the room like it should always have been there. He was mildly annoyed when he got it home after buying it to discover it had colored lights. He and I both prefer trees with either white lights or a solid color. This one has red, blue, pink, white, green and gold. It’s grown on me over the years and the multi-colors are great in the guest room. I’m right fond of it.
But I was not fond of its refusal to work. So, I trundled off to the Lowe’s and found an exact match for the lights. Now, really, what are the odds? So, I added more lights to the sections that aren’t working. (Maybe next year I’ll take off the non-working lights, but I didn’t feel like wrestling with cable ties this year.)
I was so afraid that celebrating the holidays this year would be hard that I resolved to begin early so that if I did end up in the pit of sadness, my obligations to the family and friends would be taken care of. Funny thing. The more ahead of the game I got, the more I have enjoyed the season. I’m still mourning HMO’Keefe, but I think I’ve moved to the acceptance stage of things and spend a lot of time reminiscing about our years together — particularly our Christmases. We had a long-distance relationship for years, but regular as rain, I went to Boston or he came here.
He particularly loved the spectacle that is my house at Christmas time when I put everything out. I felt I owed it to him and to me to make sure the house is at its Christmas best this year. I’ve had a ball doing it.
Today, I fixed the lights and got out the boxes of his ornaments. He was fond of Santas, kayaks, chili peppers, cowboys, and his daughter. His tree reflects those things. It’s a beautiful, funny, eclectic memorial to the man I loved. I’m so pleased that his daughter is going to be able to sleep in this room with that tree when she comes to visit.
I’m also excited that Chef Boy ‘R Mine will be here for 5 days this year. I can’t remember the last time I had him for 5 days. So, I’m in a frenzy to have the house clean and orderly, to make cookies, to celebrate all the time-honored traditions of an American Christmas.
The guest room is almost ready, and boy-howdy I’m glad my two guests don’t have problems with cat hair. I’m pleased with how the room turned out. I bought the furniture this past summer upon realizing it drove me crazy that my son and step-daughter didn’t have a proper bed to sleep in when they’re here. The suite of furniture is gorgeous and suits the room perfectly.
Upon excavating and decorating the closet, I got the hidden writing closet up and running again. I can’t wait to spend some serious time in there writing secrets and memories.