After Thanksgiving comes Christmas, so as soon as I got home from work today I set up and trimmed my Christmas tree: a 7-foot genuine plastic pine with a wonky base that requires a fairly substantial weight on one side to keep the whole thing from toppling over, otherwise known as the Seasonal Giant Sparkly Cat Toy. I briefly considered not decorating this year since I’ll be back in Texas for the big day, but I figured in the meantime my Christmas spirit could use all the help it can get. It took me longer than usual without a second pair of hands and the lack of Pandora meant I had to sing the requisite Christmas carols a cappella, but it got done in the end. The Christmas centerpiece is arrayed on the dining room table and the stockings are hung on the freezer with care. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, or at any rate as much like Christmas as it’s going to feel in a 90-degree mostly-Muslim country far away from home.
Or it was, for an hour or two anyway. Then out in the living room there arose such a clatter I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Well, Jabbers must have been playing a little more roughly with his Seasonal Giant Sparkly Cat Toy than he did last year, because the base split nearly in two and the whole damn thing came crashing down. I lost several ornaments, including some of the best ones we made at the Great Recession Christmas Party three years ago. My tree is now lying pitifully on the floor, still decked in what remains of its holiday finery, while I decide whether to try to rig up a new base, see if I can get a last-minute real tree and start over, or just shove Christmas back in the box and forget about it. Bah humbug.