Sounds of Silence

All of the Thanksgiving out-of-towers began scattering Saturday. They dribbled and drabbled away in different directions. It was a splendid holiday, because being with family always is.

As usual, when the last person left (it happened to be our niece Brooke, who caught a midnight flight home to AZ), it felt the same as it always does. First, a big PHEW because we all made it without a single unpleasant incident. Then came the stillness, a silence that is partially a relief but mostly bittersweet. And then Bill and I collapsed in our new recliners and sat numbly and watched the end of the National Dog Show, which I had recorded on Thanksgiving. (Good job Brussels Griffon.)

And by the way, a big shout-out to Brooke, who gamely spent Saturday night with her aunt and uncle watching Dalmatians and Afghan Hounds and Portuguese Water Spaniels prancing around the ring with nary a snicker (Brooke, that is; not the dogs). This, after spending the afternoon in downtown Denver with Jen and I and not complaining one little bit when I suggested this photo op…..

One of the things I always do on Thanksgiving is put up my angel tree in our living room. Every year when I contemplate the activity, I begin my annual lamenting about how difficult that tree is to assemble and how it requires Bill’s help. He is always willing to drag the thing up the stairs and put it together without complaint, but it is a pain in the neck and I know he grits his teeth and does it because it means a lot to me. So as usual, I stated to everyone who would listen that one of these years, I am going to buy a new tree that I can put up by myself. This year people answered. First, my daughter-in-law Lauren said, “Kris, why don’t you just go somewhere this afternoon and buy a new tree?” Hmmmm. Then my sister Bec told me that she owns a very easy-to-assemble pre-lit Christmas tree that she put up herself.


So my two sisters and I went to Home Depot Friday after lunch, walked over to a tree that was pre-lit, easy to assemble, and extremely affordable. Before you know it, I had a new Christmas tree, just like that. What will I complain about next year?

I had the tree up in no time. Generally, the grandkids help decorate. This year, the grandkids were scattered, but my great-niece Faith was on the job like a dog on a bone. While it’s true I had to do a bit of ornament rearranging after she left, I appreciated her decorating expertise…..

In the glory days of my youth, I did a lot of Christmas decorating. Since we leave for AZ on Christmas Day, I spend Christmas Eve day being the Grinch before his heart grew three sizes. Therefore, decorating is much more restricted. Still, I put some holiday touches in my newly-remodeled family room, put some pretty wreaths on my doors (thanks to my sister-in-law Sami, and put out some Christmas candles.

My Christmas goal for today is to go through all of the Amazon packages I have been receiving throughout this past week and make sure that everything I’ve ordered has arrived. Then the real fun begins – giftwrapping.

And the smell of roasted turkey has barely dissipated.