Mom's the one who wants a Christmas tree every year; Dad and I have almost nothing to do with it and couldn't care less whether we have a tree or not. My job, though, is to un-bag the artificial tree which has spent the last 10 months atop our potting table in the garage (bagged so it stays clean). I bring the tree indoors, plug it in and check the bulbs. The rest is up to Mom.
So, this year it's Thanksgiving Day itself when Mom decides she has the time and the inclination to put the tree up. She spreads the boxes of ornaments on the dining room table and begins her work. Eventually she'll finish by adding flocks of cotton to the ends of each branch, giving the impression of snow.
How does the finished job look? Here's the tree as I climbed the steps last night to go to bed:
The tree sits atop an old trunk on the north wall of the dining room, right at the bottom of the steps. Mom would have preferred the living room but couldn't find a place she liked. One spot, by the fireplace, blocked my view too much. And so we placed the tree where there was room, not where we really wanted it.
The decorating Mom does at Christmas extends well beyond the tree. She brought a pine cone snowman to my room and sat it on the floor, leaning against the chimney. A friend who now lives in Florida sent it to me many years ago and it is a decoration we still use annually.
The large bay window in the kitchen holds a few Christmas trinkets, too. This nativity set is a special one to Mom, made of corn husks. The location is one we can enjoy often, as often as we cook or do the dishes.
And here's a small collection of woolly sheep along with a pine cone we picked up on one of our walks.
We do not decorate outside, have no lit trees. I don't care to spend the money on electricity nor do I like the work of putting displays up and taking them down ... in January yet, the hardest month of the year to work outdoors. So Mom's entire efforts are concentrated on a few spots indoors.
My own attitude is no better than tolerance mingled with a "Humbug!" or two. I do not have the Christmas spirit and have never had it. I'd rather go on day to day, as steady as possible and pay no mind to any of the holidays.
Mom worked on this yesterday because she had a cold and we could not join my cousin's Thanksgiving gathering. We had a quickly planned meal but enjoyed staying inside on a very wet day.
Last evening, about 9:30 p.m., the wind began to blow as a cold front passed through the Miami Valley, washing the rain along with it. This morning the rain was frozen in the gauge after a nighttime low of 22. Our pleasant fall temperatures are gone. The timing for Christmas decoration couldn't have been more better.
On January 1 - not a day later - Mom will say she's tired of Christmas and will take it all down. Dad and I will sigh and things return to normal.