Monday, December 10, 2007

Questions People Ask Me at Christmas

Greg took this ornament photo the other night and I just love it. He's so darned handy to have around. Handy as a pocket on a shirt is the phrase, I believe... although Greg is far better than a pocket.

Each year people ask me lots of questions about Christmas. Some of them I expect - some surprise me.

1. How many lights are on the tree? more than 10,000

2. How many ornaments? I don't know. Greg estimates 2,000.

3. How long does it take to do the tree? I kept track this year and it took between 70 and 80 hours. I realize that's somewhat ridiculous, so I'm looking for ways to simplify it.

4. How many trees do you have? It varies every year. This year I have five in addition to the main tree. They are 2, 3 and 4 feet tall, with a taller one in the kitchen that's one of those tall, skinny ones.

5. Does your power bill increase? I don't know. I have an average pay plan so I don't know the difference. I had an outlet installed that is on its own circuit to run the tree. This year I have put more lights on than before and that circuit breaker has thrown. So, I've divided the load out over three circuits. Before next year, the electrician will have to come back and put in another outlet that is on its own circuit - maybe two more.

I am so weary of the breakers throwing. Four different electricians have told me that Christmas lights don't pull that much juice and that one circuit would be more than enough. Obviously, that is not correct. I'm not sure why I can't have as much juice as I want. I'm willing to pay for it. I keep employing people that can facilitate it, but - yet again- I'm out in the dark throwing circuit breakers. Where are these keepers of the juice then? No doubt tucked into their warm homes, with sufficient juice to run their Christmas trees. Juice. I need more juice. I want more juice.

6. What is your favorite ornament? I don't have a particular favorite. I have lots of special ones that people have given me or made me or that I've picked up on trips.

7. Did your mom decorate this way? No, definitely not. And I can practically hear her laughing from the great beyond whenever someone asks that. She put the tree up one week before Christmas - Dec. 18 - not a day sooner. And it came down either Christmas afternoon or the day after. She was "normal" and I'm a fanatic. However, she ALWAYS put up a tree - even her last Christmas.

8. Are the presents real? Yes. I cannot imagine that anyone has time to wrap fake presents but I guess people do or no one would ask that. This girl doesn't have time for wrapping fake presents.

9. How many people do you buy for? About 30 - mostly family and a few friends. But bear in mind that some of those presents are simple things - like ornaments for my Creative Sisterhood group.

10. When did you start doing this? I first started buying ornaments in 1984, I think. I had small trees even when I was in college. I had my first big tree after I moved to Kansas. My then boyfriend, Curtis, wasn't around for some reason, and Greg helped me haul it into my apartment, which was the lower floor of a house at Fifth and Adams in Hutchinson. It was not as involved as the trees I do now. But things quickly grew into the "mega trees" I do now.

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