C. A. Pack

Musings & Brainstorms & Rants

November 2012

A Christmas Journey

I have started on My Christmas Journey.

While that may sound like the title of a book or the name of a Hallmark TV movie, it is the intricate path I take every holiday season from normalcy to full-blown holiday immersion. It starts with the tree. When I was young I swore that I’d never have an artificial tree. That ended after only two years of picking tiny pine needles out of the carpeting for months on end. So now I have an artificial tree that takes up a huge chunk of real estate in my storage closet - all year long. Unfortunately for me, when I tried to dislodge it from storage this year, the tree bag split above and below the zipper, making the tree a nightmare to move and forcing me to purchase a new bag.

Armed with Paypal and my new iPad mini, I purchased a new storage and it’s a doozy.SafariScreenSnapz008 5.12.10 AM
It’s a bag on a base with wheels. You insert the tree into it before you decorate it, which means I’ve already put up my tree twice this season - once on its regular base, and then again on the new base. When the holidays are over, the premise is that I should easily be able to pull the canvas and nylon bag up - forcing the hinged tree limbs upward into an easy-to-handle compact position, until I have a nicely bagged tree. Now you and I both know that that’s never going to happen, but right now, I’m living the dream. Taking down the tree will probably be the subject of a future blog. My faux-fir is massive. It’s actually too big for my living room, but I artistically bent the top branches so it fits. It will be an interesting study in geometry and the laws of physics when the time comes to put it away.

I was blessed with an early a holiday miracle. The tree only took me a couple of hours to re-shape. Years of forcing it into a too-small storage bag has done horrible things to its branches, giving it a form that defies nature. Making it look like a tree usually takes several hours, but now that the base is on wheels and I can move it away from the corner walls, the process is much easier. I’ll go out on a limb and say that if Fred Astaire were still alive, he could probably dance around the living room with my tree. It’s too bad that the ring that holds the new storage bag in place looks like it’s sagging. It took me an hour to put the bag-base together (nothing ever comes fully assembled, anymore), and I’m just hoping my tree isn’t in imminent danger, not to mention, me. Years ago I had a fully decorated tree fall on top of me, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

I’ve already invested many hours in this tree and it’s not even decorated yet. That’s the second leg of this journey, which starts tomorrow. Decorating my tree will probably take me two days and by the time I’m done, my home will look like a bomb has exploded in it. No room will go unscathed. That is the universal truth of Christmas decorating and it’s all part of My Christmas Journey.

English Country Sounds So…Inviting

I have never thought of myself as an English Country Home person, but after seeing the pictures in this article, I’m learning that I love the cozy feeling that this design has to offer. Rather than go through it point by point, I thought I’d embed the article. Just a note: I particularly like the copper gutters. And the vine covered exteriors. And the stone. And the window. And…