Decking the halls

We got the Solstice tree decorated tonight.

A Christmas tree with white lights and decorations, topped with a Santa Claus hat. The tree and white lights can also be seen reflected in a window behind it.

Now, considering I posted a gajillion days ago about starting the holiday decorating, you’d think I’d be done by now. But no.

Some of it is my inherent laziness: after putting in a full day at the NPO, there’s some nights I have not been in the mood to work on things. And my general philosophy for all this year’s decorating is “only if it makes me happy.” So if it makes me happier to do things slowly, I’m A-OK with that.

We also hit a bit of a speed-bump with the tree.

Mr. Mezzo and I decided last year that we wanted to replace our super-old 7′ Philly tree with a 9′ tree to fill more of the cathedral ceiling in our living room. But our available tree footprint is a narrow one, and we couldn’t find anything in the end-of-2019 sales that would have fit.

So this year—after we’d set up “Old Philly,” mind you—we shopped the online Black Friday sales for a tree that had the right specs: tall enough, narrow enough, lighted-up enough.

When we purchased this, it was 100% with the intention of just setting it aside for next year. (We already had our tree up, after all.) But then we got an email within 24 hours telling us this baby has been shipped for arrival on Wednesday, December 2nd. (It actually arrived on Monday.)

So, what would make me happier? Less work or tall, new, sparkly tree?

Tall new sparkly, thank-you-very-much.

Another delay occurred because we’ve started making for-real preparations for spending Christmas here alone.* And that woke me up to a fascinating little detail: we have never been in this house for December 24th and 25th, and so there’s some key things we don’t have.

Like stockings.

(And placemats. And napkins. And Christmas/Solstice wine glasses.)

And yes, I know the holiday police aren’t going to be inspecting our Christmas dinner table and so it’d be fine if we used the same paper napkins and regular-day glassware that we do at any other time of the year.

But what would make me happier? A pretty dinner table, even when—especially when—it’s just for the two of us.

So I’ve been doing a different kind of decorating this week: the kind that involves shopping online for supplies that should arrive within the next 10 days or so. An investment of time (and dollars**) I’m happy to make.

There’s also one final piece of decor we’ve added for the moment. During these weeks between the big Thanksgiving dinner and the big Christmas meals coming up, I’ve set up a puzzle station on the dining room table.

Picture of a jigsaw puzzle being assembled. The edge is mostly done, and the box of puzzle pieces is to the left of the puzzle-in-progress.

Now, I love doing jigsaw puzzles, but I don’t do them very often here in the house. But once we’d put the extra leaf in the dining room table to Thanksgiving, it occurred to me that I could set up a puzzle for myself, as one more small thing to make me happy.

So the final type of decorating I’ve been doing this week is the slow process of building this pretty picture, 1/500th at a time.

Whatever it takes to create more joy.

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* Worst group project EVER.

** Not too many, though. #ShoppingTheSales

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Image credits: photos taken by the author, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

4 thoughts on “Decking the halls

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