Thursday, December 29, 2005

Something else to be addicted to...

First I was hooked on Ebay. I went through my closets, my doo-dads, my junk. I took pictures of my junk. I carefully worded the ads for my junk and thoughtfully priced it. I would obsessively watch the number of hits my junk got and jump up and down and cheer when people would buy my previously worn maternity bathing suit. I had a very exciting couple of months with my friend Ebay. It eventually got tiresome and I no longer had suitable junk to sell.

Now I've discovered a lovely little thing called FreeCycle! Instead of hauling your unwanted crap to the dump, you can post it on your local FreeCycle group and have many many people email you immediately and tell you how much they really need or want your junk! Of course, it makes you no money... but if you really aren't going to use something anymore and you don't mind giving it away for free, you can always find SOMEONE who wants it.

Today is a FreeCycle kind of day. I am in organization mode and I have spent a good part of the day shuffling through lots of different stuff and cleaning. I listed a whole pile of my junk on the site and I've excitedly been sitting here emailing replies "Yes, those electric candles are YOURS!", or "You got it! I'll save these Happy Retirement stickers aside for YOU!". I love it.

I know I have an addictive personality. At least my latest craze is useful.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ho Ho Ho

Saturday we put our tree up. Ever since I was a kid, this has been an honored family tradition, everyone helps out. When I was little we had the Bonanza album Christmas on the Ponderosa and that was the record we put on for the tree-trimming event. Go ahead, snicker. It's damn fine music, but more importantly, it's tradition. The first Christmas Rob and I were together I was reminiscing about our favorite old holiday album and how it had gotten to the point where we couldn't play it anymore. No more Little Joe on tree decorating day. DAMN. What did my sweet, nostalgic beau do? He went on eBay and bought the CD. So, tradition lives on. I'm sure one day Max and Miles will give a hearty thanks to their father accompanied by a full eye roll.

So, Saturday was the appointed day for the tree, we were armed with our music and our brand new 7 1/2 foot artificial tree. Yep, that's right, we went artificial this year. I have never ever done an artificial tree and it was a big adjustment for me. There's something romantic and spiritual about going out on a cold frosty morning to pick out the perfect fresh cut tree. There's something about lugging it all the way home, trimming the trunk, setting it into the stand and hauling it inside. There's the SMELL... ooohhh, the fantastic scent of Christmas. However, after several weeks of being in our house, there's the familiar and irritating pile of needles on the floor. There will come the day when you notice that the tree isn't really drinking the water you've climbed down under the tree to fill up, and you know that tree is drying out and drying out with every day. By Christmas morning, you reach under the tree to get that pretty little present and half of the needles rain down with a crackling on the gifts. By Christmas dinner, the tree looks pathetic. The next day, you're contemplating ripping it down already. Ok, maybe not YOU, but me, yes, several years. The day after Christmas last year Rob and I took full advantage of my father visiting us and took off in the morning for sales. We were determined to buy our very first fake tree. We got a great deal and were excited about putting it together for the first time ever this year.

So, again, back to Saturday. I've got music going, I've hauled up all the boxes of decorations out of the basement. We cut open the box containing our glorious new tree. An hour later, we're still plugging in color coded branches into little holes and fluffing up the fake needles. This is a somewhat long and depressing task. By the time we were done, I'm no longer festive. I no longer care about the damned Ponderosa or if the star will fit on the 7 1/2 foot tree when our ceilings are 7 1/2 feet exactly. I am more annoyed that I just spent an hour plugging branches into a fake tree and now my wee beast is awake and joining big beast in ripping apart boxes of decorations and ornaments. OHHHH, what's THIS???? ARGH.

By the end of the day, I'm exhausted and I have just one more box to put away... why does this take longer and longer every year? But alas, finally, the lights are all on, my little village is lit, and there's Rob handing me an eggnog with plenty of the "nog" and the day doesn't seem as annoying anymore. Hmmm..... Christmas. I'll tell ya later whether or not the artificial tree was worth it. Merry Christmas!!