Sometimes the universe has strange plans for you, but forgets to let you in on the secret.
Last year as we were taking down the Christmas tree at New Years, Lyle said, "What would it take to get you to go less crazy for Christmas next year?" I told him he loved me because I was crazy for Christmas. He told me he loved me in spite of it.
We were in a hurry to get anything "alive" out of the house because we had to go to Vegas for work for ten days. We got the tree undecorated, handed the keys to the house sitter and offered him an extra fifty bucks to take the lights off because we had to leave the next day.
In late January, as I was taking down the "non living" decorations, Lyle said to me, "What would it take to get you to go less crazy for Christmas this year?" I told him it would go a lot faster if he would quit asking me questions and help me. He told me that if I didn't put so much crap up it wouldn't take so long to get it all put away.
At the end of February, when Lyle and I both were taking down the Christmas decorations in the kitchen, Lyle asked very quietly, "Seriously, what would it take to get you to go less crazy for Christmas this year?" And I said, "Book a trip to Paris in December."
In August, he asked me if I was serious, and I said, "Yes." and then the negotiations began in earnest.
"How much less would you do?"
I will just do a tree.
"Seriously, I've met you. You can't do that."
Okay, just a tree and the outside lights.
Uh, maybe a light mantle, but no garland.
"No dining room?"
No garland, well, maybe just the chandelier?
By now you can see that instead of negotiating me DOWN, Lyle is actually negotiating me UP. What he didn't know is that inside my head I was planning the WORLD'S LARGEST CHRISTMAS TREE. My plan was to place it smack in the middle of the house between the dining room and the living room. I'd even had a new outlet installed in the Spring with its own circuit breaker so I could put THOUSANDS of LIGHTS on it.
And then he called my bluff and bought tickets to Paris in December.
I kept planning a tree for the house that would compete with the tree at Rockefeller Center. Chandelier arms! Full size nutcrackers! Maybe a small tree on the roof to imply that the I burst through the ceiling?
And then in November, Lola passed away. And I wanted to curl up in a ball and cancel Christmas. No tree. No lights. No nutcrackers. Covers over my head. At least we had that trip to Paris planned and that kept me thinking I had something to look forward to.
And I was PISSED OFF at the universe for pre-planning a subdued Christmas. I was mad that it knew what was coming. It knew I wouldn't want to decorate. And I wanted my baby puppy back and would trade all my Christmas decor to get her, but it doesn't work that way.
So I forged ahead. I made sure we got a tree the day after Thanksgiving because I was afraid if I waited, I really would skip it all together. The tree arrived on Friday and it took me until Monday to get it lit. Then it took until Wednesday to get it decorated. It took help and I am grateful for it.
The tree has 2400 lights on it. No chandeliers arms, half the nutcrackers. No garland on the mantle and none on the dining room chandelier. I love my tree and am glad to have this scaled down Christmas.
Tomorrow we go to Paris. I am hoping for snow.