Merry Christmas

It takes me an afternoon to put out the Christmas decorations.  Most of that
time is spent trying to reassemble my made in China sleigh and reindeer set.  I am certain the Chinese laborer who sprayed gold glitter on everything knows he’s getting revenge this time of the year.  I’ve put this thing together enough times that I no longer need the directions.  Or so I convinced myself.  The reindeer assembly is quite simple.  On disassembly, you stuff everything from horns to hooves inside the body cavity.  Once I pulled the reindeer’s head out of his, uh, body cavity it was on.  I attached the head and antlers, but discovered it may have been wiser to attach his legs first, which is what I did for the next one.  One year I did get the antlers on upside down for one of them.  Something I noticed while admiring my work from the living room window.  Although it is only three pieces, the sleigh did not want to cooperate.  The pegs refused to line up with the holes.  Resorting to something I remembered from my Army days, (improvise, adapt and overcome), led me to the zip ties in my tool bucket.  Mission accomplished.

I also have a nativity my brother built.  It consists of four interlocking pieces.  Supposedly.  Every year I find myself wrestling with it until eventually I am pounding it together with my claw hammer.  I do feel some guilt pounding on the truest Christmas symbol, but am able to rationalize that it is just four pieces of plywood.

Then there’s the garland on the porch rail complete with big manly red bows and a wreath in the center.  Household six demands big red bows.  And the gigantic wreath on the door that is practically big enough to be a door itself.

Did I mention lights?  I have reels of them.  Rolls of them.  Tangles of them.  In modern times, I have added some LED lights.  They come in a good sized reel.  Instructions on the reel say you can string 15 if them together.  If I did that, there would be enough lights to reach across my town.  I checked all of the lights.  Then I ran them around the porch, through the garland and over the hill to the nativity.  I don’t put lights on the roof.  The front of the house is too tall for a ladder and although I am youthful for my advanced age I ain’t getting on the roof to string lights.  Besides, these days if I get more than a few feet off the ground my knees get wobbly.  I was once a rock climber. Always maintain three points of contact.  I need six.

Since I live in the land of sometimes you need the generator, I have several miles worth of extension cords.  I have quite a rig.  I plug my timer into the garage outlet, then I plug the power strip into the timer and as many extension cords as I can into the power strip.  The toughest part is trying to hide the orange and yellow lines crisscrossing the yard.  Now I lay no claim to being a Clark Griswold, but I can put a nice Christmassy glow across the cul-de-sac.  I was feeling good until Suzie-Q told me to bring the tree in and put it up and haul out all of the indoor stuff.  So I did it.

When I finished and was looking out the window while contemplating the dosage of ibuprofen I needed, something appeared odd.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something wasn’t right.  On my way into the kitchen, it hit me.  I actually sneaked up on the window and peered around the drapes to confirm that my reindeer were positioned to push the sleigh rather than pull it.  I our modern world, my first thought was to wonder how many neighbors had already posted that on Facebook.   I dashed right out the door and fixed that issue all the while thinking of an expression my Dad liked to share with me from time to time.  “Boy, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re too smart.”

From my family to yours, have a blessed Christmas season.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

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