Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Tree HNT '09

It's not a big secret that I love the Christmas season. Not the commercial, start-before-Halloween season, but these last two weeks before Christmas. That time where, for me, I start wondering if I should bother attempting to send Christmas cards. Or if I should start my Christmas shopping.

I love driving around looking at the lights--where the competition between the neighbors is intense. I love seeing how differently others decorate their homes for the holidays. And their trees--whether fake, pink, flocked or straight off the mountain. I love watching how stressed some people get, and how I've never really gotten that way.

I got to thinking about that--why do I never get stressed? I think it's because I'm so incredibly stressed during the first part of the month that I see the second half as a relief! For most of my adult life, I've had to perform for most/all of December. When I was teaching, it was the school concerts. With the band, it was gigs for Christmas parties. With the symphony, it's usually been two different concerts, with up to 4 performances some years. I've never had the chance to stress as the day came near!

Another contributing factor would be my seemingly anti-social self. I can't remember the last time I was even invited to a Christmas party. And that doesn't bother me. My weekends are generally spoken for. I certainly don't have the inclination nor room to really host my own! So there's another level of stress that's absent in my life.

But for years I think I was missing out on the Christmas spirit. I went for well over ten years without bothering to put up a tree. I told myself I didn't have the time to do it, and if I was never home, who would see it? Until something wonderful happened in 2006. It was straight from the "Grinch". My heart grew three sizes that Christmas. Goofy smile and everything. And one week night, I got a wild hair and put up a tree! Found all my old ornaments and lights. And some I didn't know I had! And an idea was born...Christmas Tree HNT!

This is the fourth year of this theme. There's been some great interpretations of it. I suspect there will be similar variations this year. Hopefully most of you will have joined in (don't worry about it if you didn't!). By the way...only one week left before Christmas Eve!

"An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand-
Though earth holds many splendors,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly."

Excerpt from "My Country" - Dorothea Mackellar

This week's Mystery Guest is the eternally lovely Ell from "Wilful Damage". Be sure to stop by to see how she's cooling down this Christmas from down under!

You might find some Christmas gifts for you over at "...the Other HNT" this week. Go check and see! As always...NSFW
Please go read the theme for next week's HNT. The link is up there at the top of the sidebar! This particular theme seems to give people fits! It definitely takes a bit of thought and preparation! Email me if you have questions...

Go vote for Trojan!

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