Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Whelp, Ol’ Robbo finally broke down and bought the Christmas tree yesterday evening and we decorated this afternoon.  I consider having been able to hold out until just a week before Christmas actually, you know, begins this year is pretty good going.  (As I have probably mentioned before, in my misspent yoot, we always decorated the tree on Christmas Eve.  The Old Gentleman would buy it a week or two prior and put it out in the garage in a bucket of water.)

This year’s is about a foot shorter than our usual, owing to the fact that the shorter ones were all that was left in the lot at Robbo’s church by the time I got there.  This was due partly to so many people buying them Thanksgiving weekend, partly (so I’m told) because this was a bad year.  (We had a pretty bad drought a year ago November in these parts.  Perhaps that had something to do with it.)  There was some grumbling in the family about this, but as a matter of fact, now that the decs are on, I think it has a certain petite grace about it and am quite pleased.

Away In A Manger

Another thing that pleases Ol’ Robbo is that, after years of discouragement, I finally stumbled across a new crèche that I really like.  It’s from Nazareth, made out of olive wood by the local Christian population there, who run a whole cottage industry around this sort of thing.   They occasionally show up at Robbo’s church to sell their wares: icons, figurines, and various other religious doodads.  In addition to liking the simplicity of the design, I like to think I’m helping out a Good Cause.

Hopefully you can see that the cradle is empty.  Of course, it stays that way until Robbo gets home from Midnight Mass next Sunday night.  Also, the bows on the door wreaths remain Advent purple, as do the candles in the wreath on the dining room table.