After a mild and sinisterly pleasant November, we turned the page to December and Winter immediately slammed into NEO. I'm constantly freezing, it's snowing, I hate it, and naturally, my freshman homeroom has never seen snow before and oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god! "It's only X-number days until Christmas, Mrs. D!" a couple of students chirp out to me daily. Hey, you students. I don't take kindly to threats, and I don't appreciate your tone. Shut up.
How many Loyal Readers remember this post just last year in which I swore, yet again, to downsize Christmas, starting with the tree? So, this year Rick and I go to the tree place and again, I charge him with the responsibility of helping me to choose a smaller tree, since I have no perception of size. He is on board with this. Soon, he is standing trees up and steering me around the tree farm (in, yet again, temperatures of, oh, about eleventy below zero--every year!), and we find a nice tree. We take it home, he puts it in the stand, and...it is another bigass tree! I ask him, "How on earth did you let this happen? AGAIN?" He says, "But it was so light! I could carry it with one arm! I carried it on my shoulder!" WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?! Then he tries to blame me! I can sum this whole argument up by listing jobs we have had: Me, bank teller and teacher; Rick, carpenter and estimator. Case closed.
(actual tree, with Kittens!)
Jared and Sam came over to help decorate the tree. Also under their purview is the nativity scene. As with many family nativity scenes, it has grown over the years to include several, er, characters that were likely not present at the Original Event but have now taken their Places Of Distinction, for one reason or another, in its re-creation at the Dept.
Sigh. I know. I can't even begin to tell you the Origins or the Symbolism behind each and every Individual In Attendance here. All I can tell you is: Baby Jesus is being held by Larry Hughes (left), Zydrunas Ilgauskas is riding the camel, LeBron James is face down in shame under the camel's derriere, yes, that is Pluto (front left), and Satchmo Armstrong is playing the part of the angel Gabriel (right). Oh, and there are, indeed, two Zydrunases (Zydruni?). Think of it as a sort of Cirque du Soleil nativity scene...thingy.
Or maybe it's best not to Think Too Much Of It At All. Any of it.