I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Hopefully your hearts and bellies were full, so much so that you had to break out the “stretchy” pants you put away after your diet. For the Cleaning Lady clan, it was a small, outdoor affair in the country. Luckily the weather was overly cooperative with the temperature in the 80s. Our traditional after-dinner bonfire was a perfect example in social distancing. No one was giving that bonfire Covid that day! And we all wore our stretchy pants.

Now that the holiday decoration season is in full swing, my little train wrecks are eagerly enlisting my help with their own variety of Christmas adornment. Seriously, the only client I had with a “traditional” tree was the Bird Lady. Every year I had to climb up into her attic on one of those flimsy ladders and retrieve 50 years’ worth of decorations. Just the retrieval of said decorations was an act in contortionism that would rival a Cirque Du Soleil performance. I wonder if they have to see a chiropractor after each performance, cause I sure did.

So I would unwrap each ornament for her inspection, then place it on the tree. All 300 of them. Not to mention unloading a manger scene that was made out of real barn wood and weighed as much as a small car. And it looked like it was 100 years old. All the barn animals were practically unrecognizable and looked like little monsters with no faces. I wouldn’t put that thing out for a Halloween decoration!

Add to that about 150 other Christmas knickknacks in various states of decay. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me) the Bird Lady moved out of town last year. But the decorations did manage to give me a final middle finger when I had to get them down one last time for her move. I tried not to laugh maniacally out loud the whole time. But I sure let loose when I got home!

So now my remaining train wrecks have started decorating in their own ways. The Bachelor doesn’t do much, except for decorate his blow up doll and stick her in the corner. She has a wreath around her neck and Christmas lights wrapped around her in some weird holiday bondage display. I’m sure his fellow Lunks get a kick out of it. And he hangs mistletoe on everything he can. Guess he’s narrowing the odds for his next date.

The Artist has decided to do an interactive art installation. Basically she set up green sheets in the form of a pyramid to look like a Christmas tree, if you can picture that in your head.

Yup.

It’s tall and skinny with room for one person to walk in to. Then she decorated only the inside, complete with lights, ornaments and a little speaker that plays Christmas music. She explained to me that the premise is to find Christmas from within. And of course, she made me try it out. The only thing I found was claustrophobia and pointy lights way to close to my face. Try that one at home.

The Greys have a relatively normal tree, unless you look too closely at it. They like to slip in little plastic male appendages in between all the cute ornaments. It’s a little like the Bachelor’s blow up doll but with branches.

Midge talks about getting a tree every year, but never does. So a few years ago I started decorating these ornamental branches she has in a vase. They stand about 4 feet high and it actually looks quite nice when I’m done. I mean a Christmas tree can be anything you want, right? Just ask the Artist. Midge loves it, and tells me every time I go to her house how much joy it brings her and how it brightens everything up.

And this is really the purpose of all these decorations and trees. A bright light in a dreary time, or in the case of my train wrecks, whatever weirdness makes you happy. The Pagans have used Evergreen branches in their homes for thousands of years to remind them that the dark and cold Winter will pass and Spring is on the way. A few green branches to symbolize that this too shall pass and brighter days are ahead.

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