Thursday, December 25, 2008

And I heard him exclaim

Thanks for dropping by Christmas morning.

I usually don't do much, by way of decorations; my children and grandchild are two thousand miles away. But I thought I'd do it up big this year.

They make the place a bummer to heat but the high ceilings turned out to be a blessing, after all. How else could I have gotten a twelve-foot tree in here?

The ornaments are an exact match for the bubble lights, glass globes and tinsel my folks used when I was a kid. In fact, I think some of the tinsel are actual strands from the tree they put up when I was seven. Rachael tells me that I'm something of a pack rat.

The angel is new, though. I hope you'll ignore the expression on her face. I don't think she thought I could figure out how to get her situated up there.

And please don't step on the train. Mind that it doesn't smash your ankles, either; that cowcatcher on the locomotive is razor sharp. The express runs through the bathroom every hour, on the quarter hour, by the way, so watch yourself in there.

What? I can't hear you over the stereo. That five-thousand -watt amp really brings out every last nuisance of Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas, doesn't it? The six-foot speakers outside really give it a nice echo. Burl has never sounded better.

I heard that this time. I cut tunnels through all the walls, so that the train can run from room to room without slowing, but that was the easy part. Getting it up to the second floor was a major piece of engineering. I still haven't figured out braking coming back down, so mind your footing on the stairs, too.

If the power should go out while you're here, there are candles and matches on the mantle over the fire. It's happened twice so far; I suppose with that big a sound system, I shouldn't have put up so many lights outside. One thousand, seven hundred and forty-six bulbs, just on the roof, but I think the real power hog is the thousand-watt spotlight I have set up as the star over Bethlehem. Last night, one of the wise men walked because I wouldn't let him wear sunglasses.

What I'm particularly pleased with, though, is the forty-foot snowman in the front yard. He's got a fifty-five-gallon drum for the top hat and a wicker wastebasket on a piece of PVC tubing as his corncob pipe. All painted black, of course. I used the bottoms of two-liter soda bottles for his eyes and buttons. I call him the Frostinator.

I'm in a bit of a tussle with the city, what with the sound system and the lights and the snowman; they claim so many people are driving by to look and listen that it's created a public nuisance.

But hey, it's Christmas.

Happy Holidays to everyone!