Did I mention we forgot to light our Menorah on day one? It’s because we were so busy…
Our neighbors down the block have had their tree up since before Thanksgiving, and a house just a few steps from there has had lights twisted through their porch hand railing since 1274 AD. Ruby knows this habit of displaying holiday accoutrements of any kind, outside of the month in which the holiday they celebrate takes place, is against my by-laws. She therefore screams as we drive down the street, “A CHRIS! MUS! TREE!?! IT’S NOT CHRISMUS YET, STINKY!” Someday, she’ll swear like I do—something more like, “IT’S! NOT! FUCKING! CHRISTMAS! YET! DIPSHITS!”—and I will applaud her. It’s comforting to know my neurosis is being successfully embedded.
So patiently did my child wait through that long last week of November—excited and yet, forlorn that other people were breaking the rules and she couldn’t—that we broke down and went for the gold last night, on December 1st, about two weeks before we normally procure our Noble Fir (and, as it happens this year, on the first day of Hannukah, which consequently took a back seat for these Jews. Or perhaps I should say, “Jews”.)
To set the mood, I put on a little Sufjan Stevens holiday music, Ruby had some hot spiced cider, Sam and I enjoyed hot toddys and then we went to work. I always seem to forget during the other 11 months of the year, that putting up a tree is a lot of work. And with a five-year-old assistant, things tend to be a little skeewompus: Beads don’t gently droop like dew drops, but strangle like string around a brisket; many branches remain empty, while others bend with the weight of six precariously hung ornaments; and all 40 candy canes are positioned within arms reach of a 47-inch person. This type of disorganization drives me batty, as I like my tree to be Just. So. But dang if it doesn’t look pretty when I’ve taken out my contacts.
Thank the sweet baby Jesus that this only happens once a year. And believe me when I say, come New Years Day? That thing will be naked and curbside while our neighbors cling to their decorations through Valentines Day.