Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas Preparations

I had last Sunday off as annual leave from work, so it was decided that we'd put up our Christmas tree and decorations on that day.  It was either last Sunday or this coming Saturday, but DD2 didn't want to wait another week, so after breakfast, we moved furniture from the usual Christmas Tree Corner, got out the stepladder and pulled down the boxes from the loft.

It always surprises me how long it takes to put up the tree (we put up and artificial tree - it's 7ft tall and fairly slimline, so fits better in our lounge).  First, the three sections of the tree and the base have to be taken out of the box.  Next comes fitting the bottom section in to the base so it doesn't wobble.  Then, the branches and twigs of the bottom section have to be fanned out.... then the middle section.... then the top section.  After that, the lights go on.  We use two sets -- I'm not sure why.  I think we had one set, decided there weren't enough and rather than buy a bigger set with more bulbs, went out and bought a second set.  After the lights comes the tinsel and strings of shiny beads and then on go the baubles.  The angel (which DD2 and I made from a kit I bought very cheaply in the supermarket) goes on last.

Once the tree had been put up and pushed into position, DD2 and I turned our attention to the other decorations.  We have four pop-up small Christmas trees which we put next to the big tree and there are two hanging tinsel trees which are pinned onto the ceiling.  There are also foil decorations that have to be carefully pulled round into position from flat and secured, before they're pinned up as well (I do the pinning - DD2 is Director of Operations and tells me where each one should go).  There's big tinsel across the dresser in the dining room, on the gate between the lounge and kitchen and on the TV stand.  Hubby had gone out while DD2 and I were decorating and we waited for him to get home before putting some lights up the stair bannister and around two walls of the lounge.

It's all very gaudy, bright and starting to look festive.  Each morning when she comes downstairs, DD2 turns on the all the lights (and then I switch them all off when we walk down to the train station with DD1 approx 40 mins later).  I don't have the lights on during the day when DD2's at school because, well, having a bit of a break from then is quite nice, truth be told.

Hanging decorations and new lights!
They're certainly bright!

Our Festive Forest!
On Monday, we did have a bit of an Embarrassing Moment though.  DD2 came home from school, dumped her shoes and coat on the hall floor and, while I was putting them away, grabbed her school bag and rushed into the lounge.  When I got in there, I noticed this:

Do you see that nice, glittery star at the top of the little tree?  I'm friends on Facebook with one of her classroom assistants, so I sent her a message with that photo and asked if she knew where the star was from and she said it looked like the one from the classroom Christmas tree!!!!  DD2 was told that she'd done the wrong thing and that it would have to go back to school in the morning (with a note of apology).  She wasn't happy, but accepted it and hasn't brought it home since.

Festive activities start tomorrow.  I'm out for lunch with my Friday morning knitting ladies at the pub where we meet.  It's our Christmas buffet lunch at Monday's knitting group (having been disappointed with Christmas lunches at a couple of venues we've been to, we decided to do it ourselves at the hall where we meet).  I need to check what I need to buy as my contribution for that (sandwiches/rolls I think).  Tuesday and Wednesday DD1 has her school's Christmas music concert, Tuesday is also the day I'm going to watch DD2's school Christmas production* and then on Friday it's the last day of term for both girls.  DD1's last day is one of no lessons - instead, the whole school goes to the cinema in the morning and then go back to school for Christmas lunch.  I'm not sure what they do in the afternoon, but I think it's spending time with classmates in their form room and exchanging their Secret Santa gifts.

*a note came home from school yesterday with costume requests.  DD2 is going to be dressing up as an angel.  She wants to be a pink angel, but that may not happen!  I'm going to sew some tinsel on a white t-shirt and she can wear it with a sparkly skirt she's got and some white leggings.  I've no idea what to do about wings though.  Cardboard and tissue paper may be involved, but I haven't got a great deal of time left to make them.

In the meantime, I'm still knitting away on my Relax sweater and will post a progress report on that soon.