|THE SANTA COLLECTION. GIFTS FROM OUR NEPHEWS (AND THEIR PARENTS) OVER THE YEARS.|
What would Christmas be without Alvin & the Chipmunks? Before leaving California earlier this year, when I thinned out the ranks of our CD collection (yes, I know it's an ancient technology), I apparently included in the "donation pile" my "Christmas with the Chipmunks" CD. I was probably considering Jerry when I decided to get rid of it. Their "Christmas Song" drives him up a wall. A few years back, I willingly got rid of Elmo & Patsy singing "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." Even I tired of that one. But, the Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas Song is one of my favorites. Fortunately, there's YouTube. I've already listened to the song at least half a dozen times today. I just didn't get to listen to it yesterday when we did our decorating.
|SOME SWEET MEMORIES. I LOVE UNPACKING THE ORNAMENTS.|
After living in New England for years (until moving to San Diego in 1993), Jerry and I were really spoiled by being able to buy or cut down our own Christmas tree every year. The trees were so fresh that they rarely even dropped a needle after three weeks in the house.
|EARLY AFTERNOON BEFORE WE HEADED DOWNSTAIRS FOR OUR "MORNING" COFFEE.|
When we moved to San Diego, we bought our first "fresh" tree in a tree lot and lost half the needles before we even got it to the car. So, the next year, we gave in and bought an artificial tree. It was a major adjustment, but once you've covered a tree with 750 little white lights and more than 350 ornaments (which is what we used to do... the lights were so bright they'd blind you if you tried to look directly at the tree) , you really can't tell what's underneath anyway (except for the fragrance... or lack thereof).
|THE BALLET THEME. TO HONOR OLGA CHICKABOOMSKYA.|
When we had the hotel in Palm Springs, we bought a wonderful large, fake tree, pre-strung with lights. Talk about easy. The "branches" folded down into place with the lights perfectly positioned. All we had to do was plug it in. But, in moving to Spain, with its different electrical requirements, we couldn't bring our pre-strung tree with us. It also didn't seem to be a very practical thing to haul across the ocean.
|NO DROPPING PINE NEEDLES, EVEN IN THE SEVILLANO SUN.|
A couple of weeks ago, Jerry had the inspired idea to buy three smaller trees instead of one large one and then to place them in front of each of the three balcony doors in the living room. We bought three excellent quality 5-foot trees. OK, they're still fake and I really miss that rich evergreen smell, but I have adjusted. We then bought strings of 280 lights for each and plant stands to raise them up a bit. We unpacked and decorated while playing our Christmas CDs (Willie Nelson, Celia Cruz, the Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus, the South Dakota Acoustic Christmas). Next up is "Peter, Paul, & Mary" and their holiday celebration (they've got Chanukah songs, too). So our first Christmas in Sevilla should be OK. Even if Alvin and the Chipmunks aren't here.