But since the days of neighborhood caroling parties are tucked tidily in my past and unlikely to return unless I become a very different, more proactive person with a different set of companions, I'm going to give you a little textual serenade. Sing along with me, will you?
On the First Day of Sockmas, my true love gave to me... two cobalt bands and a loris in a pear tree.
Our wedding rings came in! They are cobalt. Cobalt alloys are super strong, corrosion & wear-resistant, and shiny ... just like our love! Mr. (W)right's is the bigger one, while mine is the dainty and delicate hard-ass steel band. Mine maybe has a bit of a Napoleon complex and likes to bully the bigger one, but the bigger one takes it just fine. They are now going into a safety deposit box until April, but it was fun finally seeing them together. Since they're such strong material, they can't be adjusted at the jewelers so we had to special order sizes just to try them on. Meaning neither one of us had better get enormously fat-fingered ever! Or I guess we'll just have to go to wear wedding necklaces...
On the second day of Sockmas my true love gave to me... two moosies skiing, two cobalt rings, and a Loris in a pear tree.
Since 2009 I have taken to buying an annual ornament that serves as an icon for that year. It's a fun way to look back at a year and be agog at all the life that can be crammed into twelve little moons. 2009 straddled my first and second year of law school. At the end of my first - shortly after the disastrous freeway pile up that totalled my car and lay seeds for litigation that is inexplicably continuing in perpetuity - I met Andrew. We got along soooo well I even took the extraordinary step of allowing my parents to both know about his existence and eventually meet him.
December was my turnabout - flying down to San Fran for a skiing holiday and Christmas meal. A double whammy of new sport and new people, people who mattered! I was secretly terrified that if I couldn't ski, Andrew's family would never accept me. Luckily, I picked skiing up pretty quickly, Andrew's family was awesome and accepting, and we celebrated our sixth month anniversary (I know anni- means year, pedant... just go with it because you probably won't love our use of monthiversary any better) with necks-legs-hearts intact. Perfect way to end the year, I thought and worth an ornament.
On the third day of Sockmas, my true love gave to me... four sock santas dancing, two moosies skiing, two cobalt rings, and a loris in a pear tree.
Christmas season officially being open - and permits already granted to hunt the Noble Elf of The Great North - it was something of opening weekend for holidaziness. I had sworn up and down that I would storm my mother's home and decorate this Saturday, while Mr. (W)right studied. And, to my credit, I gave a good effort. There were some obstacles along the way.
First, apparently we "took down" decorations quite aggressively last year and signed the death certificates on what turned out to be most of the ante-antediluvian lights (really, Noah used them for house parties back in his youth), not-so-natty smaller trees, and all of the garlands. This needed to happen, but apparently it had slipped collective memory that the sequel to the great purge would be the great acquisition. Oh and naturally, the Christmas lights for the tree were quite dim, perhaps in solidarity with their fallen brethren. To further that solidarity, I took the unilateral action of throwing those into the trash where said bretheren had gone before. So, there was a naked tree, two boxes full of ornaments (many not yet smashed!), a Nativity set, and some stockings that couldn't be coaxed into staying on the mantle place what with the absence of any nails or hooks (I believe last year we may have duck taped them in place).
I plonked the piney nude in its corner, and erected the Nativity set (did you know that in addition to the Wise Men and animals and shepards, a number of lego police cars and fire men showed up, as well as a few inmates on the run? Well, let me tell ya, they all did. It was quite hoppin', that manger).
The ornaments would not come out of their little homes until lights were secured, and so I waited... biding my time. After dinner we went straight to Santa's very own workshop, Lowe's. Let me tell you, in case you are deaf, dumb & blind and so wrapped up in your Pinball wizardry you haven't had contact with the real world in about twenty years, there are some pretty terrifying Christmas decorations out there today. My favorites from Lowe's would have to be (1) the singing Christmas tree, (2) inflatable light up Santa Taking a Bath, (3) Ugly Christmas Sweater Santa and friends light up, (4) used car sale-lot Santa in a Semi inflated on at least two air puffers and longer than my mother's actual home. Oddly enough, we returned without any of these.
To really fit the mood, I threw on my media monkey, sorted by genre and hit the first "holiday" song. Which worked out appropriately for the evening by skipping straight from good old Bing, to a very long techno holiday track or ten.
As of this date we have a great tree, a very inclusive Nativity set, about a hundred little stuffed animals in holiday garb lurking in corners, and garlands that festoon about half of the room and then drop into oblivion about where they go dark... oh and a little light up trick-or-treating teddy bear who was afraid to go back all alone into the basement and thus got invited to Christmas. Not a bad set up. Now for Karl the cat to pick off the low hanging ornaments and possibly cause an electrical fire by chewing on our pretty new lights.
On the fourth day of Sockmas, my true love gave to me... tango shoes and shoe bags, four sock santas dancing, two moosies skiing, two cobalt rings and a loris in a pear tree.
These are some of my oldest shoe friends - although the polka dot pair has had a gentler use cycle, due to the difficulty of pairing them with most of my socks. The silver thicker shoes are ballroom shoes I bought some time shortly before law school, and which have been my main lesson shoes until recently. The metallic brownish ones were purchased at a milonga for my sake by an admiring partner... Quite the find, as I have relatively large feet for a lady - unsurprising, since I'm just wisping above average height for a man and need a little bit of a pedestal for my elongated corpus, lest a gusty breeze topple me entirely. Then again, the practicality of longer feet may be diminished by my preternatural preference for keeping my weight concentrated on a teeny point just over the ball of the foot.
There's a satin bag on the floor in which all Comme Il Fauts (the spotty tan shoes) are originally packaged. They're luxurious and have the novelty of a separate pouch for each shoe on the grounds that such divas would inevitably squabble in close quarters. The two pouch design is not always the most convenient when you're in a hurry, as they must be tied off appropriately to avert the shoes toppling to freedom. I've been mostly buying these little mini-back-pack bags as replacements. The sparkly one was my birthday gift to myself a few years ago. The other bag is one of many that are on absurdly good sale at Fred Meyer's most of the year. The straps are less reliably even, but they work far better for "throwing my shoes in a bag and throwing the bag in the trunk." I suspect the satin shoe bags are better suited for "handing my shoes to my personal valet and entrusting he will see they end up at hand in the limo."
On the fifth day of Sockmasmy true love gave to me... reams of wrapping paper, tango shoes and shoe bags, four sock santas dancing, two moosies skiing, two cobalt bands and a loris in a pear tree.
If there were a Hoarder's style shock-fest-TLC show about Xtremely (so extreme, the first 'e' ran away in terror) Bad Wrapping Jobs, I would be a star, I tell ya. I'm not sure how I do it, but I can underwrap an epileptic two year old. I suspect it starts with the acquisition of incredibly cheap paper. The advantage is that the paper is so constitutionally frail that I am guaranteed protection from the otherwise inevitable paper-cut emergencies. If any one could severe an artery with a piece of stationary, that would be me! The down side may be that it also has a tendency to rip, tear, fringe and otherwise misbehave. Then there's my spatial ineptitude in cutting appropriate squares. My impatience with the process. And then, I also have an innate sense of horror at the waste involved in wrapping and will eventually just start taping together pieces of irregularly sizes swathes of paper...
Like my dance wardrobe, my gift wrapping jobs are held together by tape and a prayer. But at the end of the day, when covered in shinies and piled together under a tree they sing Happy Holidays to my untrained eyes.