Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Part II

The past two days have been filled to the brim and overflowing. After my fourth and final (the turkey is all gone) Thanksgiving lunch, Tasha and I dug out my boxes of Christmas decorations and put up most of the ones that go in the living room. I am truly feeling the spirit of the season for the first time in a very long time.

You may click any pic for a (much) larger view of it.

The tree is up! It’s a great beginning, especially since last Christmas I was too ill to put up any decorations.

Tasha, my Veterans Administration provided twice-a-week housekeeper, actually set up the decorations, while I sat, reminisced over the histories of the ornaments and, uh, “supervised.”

I had forgotten how many neat ornaments (and their histories) I have, including, because of my name, enough Santa Clauses to form an army battalion

The fireplace also has some of the decorations that will adorn it.

The furball has his own stocking hanging on the mantle. I have one, too, but we couldn’t find it.

Thankfully, during the entire time we were decorating, Alex the furball stayed out of the way (and out of the ornaments) because he was cat napping in my—I mean our—bed.


  1. Nothing like the decorations to start the Christmas spirit - especially the memories. Liked the photos. It was probably just as well that Alex was snoozing through the decorating. ec

  2. Your tree looks so pretty, Tasha did a great job!
    I hope Alex wasn't too upset when he woke up and realized what he missed!

  3. Where's my stocking? :(

    So does she look good when she bends over? Sorry, it's the first thing that I thought of when you said you supervised in quotations.

  4. LOL simply curious...oh my word!

    Nick it looks great, you are an inspiration, i will have no choice but to do mine too!

  5. Hope that you have a merry Christmas Nick

    Seems that you have spent your whole life in service of one kind or another. Many people owe you, hope that they show their appreciation to you at this special time of year.
    NICK (its my name)

  6. Lookin' good Nick. Enjoy the warmth of your home. Cheers!!

  7. Your post really made me feel the Christmas spirit. Thank you for that. I have some antique ornaments, too. They do hold many memories... :)

  8. MR. EDDIE: Thank you! I am feeling not only in the Christmas spirit, but more alive than I have in quite a while. This year, unlike last Christmas, I plan to take a lot of photos. We –both Alex and I—were blessed that he napped through our putting up the tree: otherwise, I know that the Furball’s curiosity would have somehow gotten him in Dutch.

    LITTLE WING: Yes, Tasha did a fine job. I am lucky to have her. I went through three housekeepers before she was assigned. Strangely, I don’t think that Alex has yet noticed the tree! At least, he’s not yet attacked the dangling ornaments.

    SIMPLY CURIOUS: Your stocking? Have you sent Saint Nick your Christmas list? Do you want it on a fireplace here in Louisville, or in California, or in NYC?

    No, my dear curious woman, I did not stare at Tasha’s ass. I prefer women with athletic asses and Tasha’s is extremely broad—no doubt because she is also extremely pregnant.

    SWEETASS RSA: I’m please to be an inspiration to you! Put up your Christmassy stuff: it really does make one feel congenial.

    You have to have read a lot of Simply Curious’s blog to understand her comment. Like Alex, her curiosity can get her into hassles.

    THE HITCH (NICK): Thank you! I hope the season bring you much joy, too. I suppose I have spent most of my life in one kind of service or another. However, I’ve not done so in a quid pro quo sort of way. I have basically followed the counsel of Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

    MATT-MAN: Thank you. AS I must leave my home sometime in the not too distant future, I pray I can carry that warmth with me. In the present, however, I am enjoying it more than I have in years.

  9. THE LONE BEADER: Thank you. Ornaments do have very personal histories, don’t they?

  10. a stocking for alex? how cute. you spoil him rotten. having said that, this year i've bought cat crackers - the toy inside is for wills, rather than me.

  11. Beautiful tree....I followed a comment from Matt-Man's blog here...your name intrigued me.
    So, do you also celebrate St. Nicholas?
    We have Sinterklaas coming tonight, even though we are in the honor my Dutch heritage...this is when the stockings are filled. Pop over and visit the cafe sometime.

  12. I am not much of a decorating person. Last year I barely even put up a tree... and my kids would say that the tree I put up, wasn't really a 'tree'...

    Looking at your photos and hearing your stories, have got me thinking that maybe I should dispell with my Grinchly behavior and put up a few holiday adornment... maybe...


  13. With all the moving I did from one location to the next, I NEED TASHA!!!

    Your place looks quite cozy! I hope you're doing great Nick! :)

  14. I'm just up the road from you sugar!

    I've got my tree up but not decorated yet--it's quite to production as you'll see when i document it again.

    I love spoiling the cat--he's certainly got us trained.

  15. Trees are cool. Fun to climb around.

    I'm thinking of getting a stocking for my human, but I don't wanna spoil him too much.

  16. Looks great, Nick. Merry Christmas season.

  17. Well Done to you and Tasha! It looks fabulous. I love looking at the tree ornaments from year to year. It's amazing the memories they evoke. I have some of my mums old novelties that I used to put on the tree when I was a wee girl! They certainly stand the test of time. I hope you continue feeling optimistic, it's good to 'hear'. Take Care Nick! xx

  18. Nick...your tree is lovely! I hope Alex doesn't destroy it too much!!! ;)

  19. Looks good, Nick. Pet Alex for me.

  20. At least Alex lets you share the dog has claimed the bed as her own, relegating me to the couch most nights

  21. Without meaning to (at first, anyway) Tom and I started buying angels for every christmas...our tree ended up fill with little angels...some traditional, but most of them were goofy and cute and tongue in cheek.

    Reading about all your santa clauses made me think about that. Sometimes, rather than decorate the tree, I'd almost rather just play with the ornaments...set up some sort of scene on the dining table...

    I hope your winter is nice and christmasy. Lots of white glitter and an abundance of santas!

  22. it looks totally fab nick! i think maybe i must get my furbabies their own stockings...
    so when alex arose, did he leave the decorations alone?

  23. Hi Nick ~~ Your Christmas tree looks great and Tasha has a friendly face
    and is a big help to you I'm sure.
    Guess you have to buy a present for Alex for Christmas. You know one of my pet beefs at this time of year is when Christmas is shortened to Xmas.
    What do you think ?~ I guess it is a cross, but I like the proper word.
    Thanks for your comments on the Bank and Time post. we have to try to use it wisely. (Time) Take care, hope the leg is getting better.
    Regards, Merle.

  24. Alex is so darn cute! I wish I still had my kitty. I love them so. I really like your random books on the sidebar, too. I chuckle and reminisce when I see one that I have read pop up in there. Today, it's The Killer Angels.

  25. Love the ornaments...

    Never thought you'd have a collection of St. Nicks - duh! :)

  26. ` Awww! Alex is so cute! I like your tree. Unlike ours, it has ornaments!

  27. Your house looks lovely! I love Christmas trees and you're so lucky to have a fireplace!

  28. I'm so glad that life is better for you this year. We don't ever want another time when you're not around, and we can't find you. That was scary last year. Here's to a wonderful new year.

  29. MAXXO: Yes, Alex has his own stocking. The other stockings I had for the mantel seem to have disappeared, including my own. (I wonder of Alex had anything to do with their disappearance). I have no idea what Santa will put in Alex’s stocking; what does one get a furball who already has everything?

    SASSY LUCY: Thanks for the award. Following the traditions of the “Old Country” is important for many here in the U.S. My maternal grandparents came from Germany and brought their holiday traditions with them, that we passed on to their children. I suppose those traditions have been mixed with the Scottish-Irish-Welsh-French traditions of the paternal side of my family to create an “American” me.

  30. LOU LAUGHLIN: Thank you. Last year I was in such a condition that I put up no holiday decorations. I feel that decorating this year is symbolic of the changes in my life over the past 13 months.

    DEB: I hope you get settled in soon. Moving can be so disruptive to one’s life! I would love to share Tasha with you, and she is struggling so much financially that I know she would relish the employment. Unfortunately, the drive to and from you is a bit prohibitive!

  31. TURNBABY: Lexington! Yes, you are just up the road (I-64, that as an entrance 90 seconds from my front door) from me. It’s so nice to know that another blogger is so close. I look forward to seeing the end results of your decorating!

    BABA DOODILUS: Please don’t mention tree climbing to Alex! Thus far he’s ignored the Christmas tree, even the dangling ornaments. A couple of years ago he didn’t ignore it and pulled it over on himself.

    I’m sure your human would enjoy anything other humans, but not necessarily birds, enjoys.

    ANGUS: Thank you, my friend. Perhaps you’ll drop by and see it in person—and perhaps share a bit of Irish coffee?

  32. DAFFY: Thnak you—and I shall pass your words on to Tasha when she comes next week. I, agree: ornaments have their own stories. The center one in the close-up photo in this post is one made by my sons and I the first year I was in seminary, 1984.

    BETH: Thank you. Thus far Alex has not taken an interest in the tree. At the moment he seems happy with three primary activities: eating, catnapping, and looking for the “damned mousey.”

    EX-LOUISVILLE GUY: Thank you. If you return to Louisville for the holidays, give me a call and we’ll get to together.

    RIMSHOT: Your dog forces you to sleep on the couch? I once knew a Canadian woman whose dogs forced her to sleep on the couch. Of course, her nights were a merry-go-round: dogs would take over bed—she’s move to couch—dogs would follow her to couch—she’d move to bed—dogs would… All night long!

  33. CATNAPPING: Thank you for your wishes!

    I suppose your angel collection began the way so many collections do: not intentionally, but the just sort of grow. My sister—whose husband is a retired state policeman—developed a collection of pigs that way and, of course, you have your angels and I have my Santas.

    I have spent time playing with the ornaments! Perhaps I do some close-up photos of some of my favorites and create a blog post with them.

    ANGEL: Thank you! Do get your furbabies stockings and fill them with cat toys. Alex has loved the items in his stocking; however, I have to empty the stocky for him or he’d rip it apart. Thus far he’s ignored the tree.

    MERLE: Thank you. I’ll pass your words on to Tasha.

    The “X” in “X-mas” isn’t the English letter but the Greek letter “Chi,” which is the first letter of the Greek Spelling of “Christ.” Christians have been using Chi to stand for Christ for 2,000 years.

  34. SAINTSEESTER: Unfortunately, Alex knows that he is cute and plays that knowledge to the hilt! Thanks for your comment on the Library Thingie: I wasn’t sure that folks even noticed it. “The Killer Angels,” from which Ted Turner’s film Gettysburg was made, is a magnificent book, as are the other two in the trilogy. There are lines in those books that stick to my mind because of their intensity and commentary on the Civil War and war itself

  35. RHAPSODY: Thank you. You know, I really do know how that Santa collection grew so fast and why folks keep adding to it. Last Christmas my grandkids each gave me a Santa to add to it. When one has collections, I suppose it makes selecting gifts much easier!

    S E E QUINE: Well, Sara, the first Christmas tree I had after being married hod no ornaments. I was in the army and stationed in Germany and we went out an purchased German-made ornaments, which was a nice beginning to our tree decorations.

    PROFESSOR: Thank you, The fire place (and the mantle) really make winters pleasant in the comfort of this cottage.

  36. SQUIRL: Yes, my life is much better this year than last. I never want to disappear again! And, I’ll never forget when I answered the phone while in exile at my mother’s house and hear your voice on the other end. Dear Squirl, that you came seeking me is one of the greatest blessings that I have ever received.