Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas 2006

Theme: Old School

Completed tasks:
- Presents for relatives
- Activity for Stacey and her friends
- Presents for Stacey
- Buy tree
- Decorate tree
- Decorate house

- Present for Roomie
- Present for Mentee
- Wrap presents
- Visit relatives
- Bake cookies

Christmas preparations are going pretty good this year. Most of my present buying was done on Black Friday or before, Stacey and I got a tree Friday the 1st, and we've done a sizeable kid activity recently (nothing big like the Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe shindig from last year, just the sleepover mentioned a few posts ago). We should be finished with everything before the trip down south.

I decided to learn how to string lights on my gutter this year, having only decorated inside my house, and maybe hung a wreath on the front door in previous years. It is a simple, albeit time-consuming process: Buy plastic gutter clips, clip one side to gutter, clip the other side to the lights, repeat until entire width of roof is covered, don't fall off ladder. I spent about two hours on this process after I had raked the last of the fall leaves to the curb (which took an additional hour), and I ended up plenty sore the next morning. The day after I strung the lights was when we started to get some bitter cold weather, so I couldn't have timed things better.

For the cold day, Stacey and I worked on decorating the tree. We popped some popcorn and experimented with making a string of popcorn and beads, which turned out OK. The trick with that turned out to be finding kernels of a particular shape that looked puffy, but did not break when a needle was poked through them. Stacey got out some construction paper and glue and made a couple chains of paper garland, and we hung everything with ornaments from my side of the family, and from Grandma and Grandpa in Wisconsin. No lights, no solid color glass bulbs. The result is very traditional looking, and was a lot of fun to put together.

Heidi poked her nose on the tree once, and hasn't been back. I don't know if I can trust her not to eat presents, and I never did get a good tree fence to keep her out... not that keeping out a determined Husky is possible without going completely overboard. I found out during Halloween that she has always been able, for example, to hop the two-foot fence to get into Stacey's playroom, but obliges us by staying out when there isn't constant doorbell ringing and the smell of dozens of sugared up little kids at the front door. Also, after being scolded a few times, she stopped eating remote controls, shoes, and library books, but she still occasionally munches on things with new smells. She's a good dog, but I think I'll have to watch her carefully when we get the presents wrapped and under the tree.

All is well, Grandma and Grandpa are coming down to see Stacey this Friday, which she will be excited about.