Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Eighth Word: Decorate

decorate: early 15c., from Latin decoratus, pp. of decorare "to decorate, adorn, embellish, beautify," from decus (gen. decoris) "an ornament," from Proto-Indo European base *dek- "to receive, be suitable" (see decent)

Monday was too Christmas-y to fill with homework and responsibility. So, with the snow falling gently on the castle out our window, Alex and I set out to decorate our flat for Christmas. The previous tenants had left several red and gold ornaments, some colored lights, and a small (fake) tree. By small I mean one foot tall. We thought it would suffice until we actually took the tree out of the closet and set it on the table. No good. You could barely see it, let alone decorate it. The people before us must not have been filled with enough Christmas cheer or something, because I would not be able to stare at that weenie tree for the next month. 

Alex and I braved the cold and wind to head to...Pound-Saver. Yes, it's like a Dollar Store back home. I have never been Christmas tree shopping at a store before (let alone a Pound-Saver/Dollar Store). Luckily, we found a nice four-footer, grabbed some extra lights and headed back to put our tree together. For comparison:

So many things wrong with that last paragraph. I have a very pure heart when it comes to chopping down a real tree from nature. Give me the sawdust, the snow, the sap and pokey needles! Give me a tree that is too tall and wide when you finally get it indoors! Give me precious minutes wasted to nudge the tree back and forth and get it perfectly vertical! It's a team effort. Not a one man job. Well:

I made Alex help anyway. 

We had a delightful afternoon of hanging ornaments and lights and listening to Christmas music. Unfortunately, the ornaments that were here already didn't come with hooks, so we improvised by using paper clips, rubber bands, and string. I collaged a star for the top. 

So our house was all set up and I had to head to class. We were both excited for me to come home so we could sit in the glow of our tree that night with warm mugs of tea and some leftover truffles from Thanksgiving. With my luck, this day wasn't going to stay so magical. When I came home, the power had gone out. It seemed everyone else had power though so we called the emergency line at Scottish Power and only got a machine. We laugh that everyone is freaking out about the snow but places have lost power and the snow hasn't stopped yet. Anyway, our whole block eventually ran out of power (we could see candles in everyone's windows) and had to wait two hours (as promised by Scottish Power) to get our power back on. So we did not enjoy our Christmas tree (which we couldn't even see), did not enjoy warm mugs of tea (our appliances are electric) and suffered in the cold and dark. Everyone got power back at the two hour mark except us! What a night! We didn't get power back until 10pm (a 6 hour outage). 

Well, we were able to enjoy our little four-foot fake tree finally and we have been enjoying it ever since. I have never put up a tree before December before but you should see the snow and the castle! I can't avoid the magic and cheer they give off! A small fake tree may not be what I'm used to but I'm loving it. And in the words of Charlie Brown, "It's not such a bad little tree."


  1. Julia, I've been so enjoying your posts and pictures and (re)visiting all the places vicariously. Every visit to Edinburgh has taken us to Grey Friar Bobby's Bar! Your latest pics of Edinburgh in the snow are grand. Just last week we shared our last can of that strange scottish concoction IrnBru. BTW an old ME word like "bedight" would work for today's post. -- Doug MacLeod

  2. Thank you! Yes, bedight is a wonderful word for this post. Thanks for sharing.