I had to start preparing for Christmas! Oh joy! Still had to get a tree and put it up, decorate tree and house. Of course, there were presents to buy and wrap. I was moving pretty slow these days. Hurt to walk at times. Frank and I argued over real trees versus artificial.
I won, this year anyway. Frank and I shopped for a tree. It had to be perfect. Then we argued over spruce, pine, or fir. I won that one too. We found a beautiful blue spruce that smelled so good! Like oranges to me. Frank wrestled it into the house. He cut and trimmed and put it in the tree holder and it was beautiful and made the house smell divine. Then the lights had to go on I was standing on a step stool wrestling the lights onto the tree when Frank came in the room. He yelled.
Startled me and I fell. Frank caught me. We were both mad. He said, “what the f..k did you think you were doing standing on that stool?” This was said or rather shouted in a loud voice. “When you yelled at me, you scared me and I fell! Your fault!!” This was also shouted in a loud voice. “Honey if you fell you could have been hurt and our son too!” “Frank, it was a low stool, not high enough to hurt me if I fell. Besides the carpet is pretty thick. ” “Ok, but please don’t do that again. I’ll put the lights on.”
He patted me on the back, made me comfortable in the recliner and brought me a cup of tea and plate of cookies. I must admit it was nice to sit there with my aching feet up and watch him curse and cuss at the lights while he put them on the tree “correctly”. I managed not to laugh or choke. Starting at the top wrap the lights around the inside of the tree, two strings, then two strings wrapped around the outside. The same way. Then wrap another string around the whole tree. Repeat! We had enough lights to light up Wrigley Field
Melissa was up from her nap and came galloping into the room. She stopped at the sight of the lit tree and her eyes widened and her mouth too. I had to laugh. It looked like she was having a religious experience. I asked her, “Honey, do you want to help decorate the tree this year?” She sputtered out, “Me? Me? Really mama?” Frank laughed and said, “Yes, Princess, you! Come on I’ll help you while mama rest.” Laughing Melissa ran over and threw herself into her dad’s arms. They had a wonderful time hanging ornaments and placing tinsel just right. I was so happy seeing her and her dad enjoying their time together. Finally it was time for the sacred placing of the angel.
Melissa and I had picked out the angel. She said it had to look just like Ariel. She had black hair and blue eyes. Her wings stood out and were silver and shimmered. Best of all as Melissa said, she tinkled. When you picked her up you heard the tinkling of bells. I was surprised. I didn’t know there were battery operated tree top ornaments. Sounded real too. I asked the clerk about it. “Will I need to change the batteries in this angel? Are they rechargable?” The clerk frowned at me and said, “lady I don’t know what you are talking about! Those angels are not battery operated!”
“What! Yes, they are, listen!” I shook the angel. Nothing! Shook it again! Nothing. The harried clerk looked at me and said, “Look lady, I’m really busy. If you’re going to buy it, great! I don’t have time for jokes.” Melissa looked at me solemnly. I sighed and paid for the angel. We stopped at McDonalds for a happy meal for Melissa and coffee for me. I needed to sit down for a while. Melissa took the angel out of the bag and it tinkled. Yes, it did!! Oh boy!
When Melissa and Frank put the angel on top of the tree Melissa said, “Daddy, angel tinkles just like Ariel! Hear the bells daddy?” Frank looked at me and said, “What bells? I don’t hear anything do you?” I heard them, but what could I say. I shrugged! He went to get a beer and I got up. Dinner was soup and sandwiches. I was too tired to make anything else.
The next day I was planning shopping for Christmas. Judi next door was going to babysit and Margie was going to help me shop. Something was nagging at me. Couldn’t put my finger on it, then I realized how quiet it was. I had not seen or heard one kitty since last night. They all promised to behave and don’t touch the tree!
I emphasized that strongly! DON’T TOUCH THE TREE!! I waddled into the living room as quickly as I could! Looking at the tree closely, I groaned!! First there was giggling and whispering, “Did she see us?” Then the branches moved a little here and there. More giggles and whispers! Oh boy! “Ok, you’re all busted! Come out with your paws up and empty!” I said this with as much sterness and authority as I could muster. The tree shook and I was sure it was going to fall.
I stepped back right into Margie and on her foot! “I’m so sorry! I was afraid the tree was going to fall. There are several bad kitties inside the branches!” Margie laughed! “One thing even the best behaved cats can’t resist, is a decorated Christmas tree! Especially one that smells as heavenly as this one!” I relaxed a little! It did smell wonderful!
“Everyone out now!” Clemmie came out first looking guilty. Next Nikki jumped out from the inside. One by one they all appeared. I was amazed the poor tree survived. I looked around. No Pearl! Uh oh! I asked Clemmie where Pearl was. Clemmie said Pearl was by the angel and was afraid to jump. I called out to Pearl and and she stuck her little nose out. Whiskers came next. “Help mommy, this tree is trying to eat me!”
I did not laugh! The tree shook and Anu appeared with Pearl in her jaws. She gently deposited Pearl on the floor, and Pearl kissed Anu’s nose. “Thank you Auntie Anu for saving me from the tree!” Anu looked a little embarrassed, but pleased too. I thanked her too. Clemmie rushed over to check Pearl for injuries. She was fine, but mad because she wanted to stay with the angel. She said it smelled like Ariel.
I marched the kitties single file back to my bedroom and firmly closed the door. I gave Magic strict orders to stay away from the tree. Anu promised she would kitty sit. Auntie Anu was strict too. I knew they were in good paws.
Finally we were on our way. Margie drove since my belly was so big I was having trouble fitting behind the steering wheel. The stores were packed. Sigh! Margie commandeered a cart for each of us. I finally found a tyke bike. I was shocked! It was a popular gift this year. It was pink with a little basket. It was a small pedal bike for toddlers.
I found three My little Pony dolls and a Barbie. Hey, hope springs eternal. Clothes for all the dolls and a case to keep them in. I got an electric razor for Frank. Some cologne and two shirts. Casual dress, not work. Finally gifts for the kitties. Treats and toys. I got Frank Sr. Cologne too.
Thankfully, I was finished. Once home Margie and I wrapped all the gifts and placed them carefully under the tree. Margie went to get Melissa for me and thank Judi and I fell asleep in the recliner. I woke to Melissa screaming and a huge crash!! My heart pounding I jumped up as quickly as an 8 month pregnant woman could jump. This meant s-l-o-w motion! I heard Margies calm voice telling me to be careful and that Melissa was fine. I couldn’t believe what I saw!
The tree was on the floor, ornaments everywhere. Melissa looked up at me from the middle of the tree. She held up the angel ornament and said, “It was crooked mama, I had to straighten her out!” A pair of kitty ears and a tiny face appeared over Melissa’s shoulder. Pearl piped up with, “I helped save Ariel mama!” I sighed and fell back into the recliner. I closed my eyes.
When I opened them, everything was the same. Tree, ornaments, child and kitty in the middle of the floor. Margie was extracting Melissa and Pearl from the tree. She looked embarrassed. “I’m so sorry. I went into the kitchen to get Melissa a snack and I know she was with me.” “Don’t worry about it! No adult is a match for a determined toddler!”
I finally made it up and together Margie and I put the tree back together the best we could. Margie stayed for dinner which was pizza and salad. Frank thought it was funny. When he saw the tree he howled with laughter. It was crooked, listing to the side. Ornaments and lights on, sort of! That angel was straight on top of the tree and somehow it made it beautiful.
I started to laugh too, then Margie. Melissa was giggling, the kitties caught up in our laughter ran around the room chasing each other and being silly. Our family Christmas may not have looked perfect to anyone else, but, It was ours.
Christmas morning dawned bright and way too early. I dragged myself out of bed. OMG! 4 a.m! I smelled coffee and that’s what got me up. I stopped in the kitchen for a cup of coffee and followed the sounds of laughter and squeals. Frank was watching from his chair as Melissa ripped the packages open. She was sitting on her pedal bike and the look of joy on her face was priceless. All in all Christmas was a huge success. I sat in the recliner feet up and enjoyed my family. Angel Ariel smiled at us from the tree top and then she tickled and even Frank looked up.
Baby, baby are you coming?
The kitties kroner…
I am Tabitha Abigail… mama said it’s my turn because I’m the oldest. I play with my little sister Nina Rose. We chase each other and play hiss. Toys are too babyish. Mama said I’m too serious, but being the oldest I have my dignity to think about! Jason likes to play with my tail. It is long and beautiful. When he tries I turn around and chomp him on the ear. Ha,ha! I really try to keep him in line, but it’s not easy. He don’t listen to any kitty or mama. Mama said he’s special needs. What ever that means. Probably means he needs some manners. Time for my nap. Bye.