Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A String Of White Lights

I love to decorate for Christmas.

But I prefer to do it very slowly. 

The halls of most American yuletide-loving homes are fully decked by the close of Thanksgiving weekend, but that's when I'm just beginning my process. Armed with bits of paper, tree branches, fishing line, assorted garlands, and twinkle lights, I expect to spread the job out over the next few weeks.

Here, in day-to-day installments, is the story of how my house is getting ready for Christmas.

* * * * *

Look, here's the honest truth. Christmas is sneaking up on me fast, and despite all my best-laid plans, I am scrambling to get things done around here.

Oh, I'm not worried. I've been down this road many times before.

And it always works out.

Somehow or other, in these last few days before Christmas, the perfect gifts present themselves to me, and I manage to artfully wrap and label them, and add them to the growing heaps under the tree.

With a few final trips to the grocery store, my fridge will undoubtedly be filled with plenty of lovelies for our holiday meals. If I happen to forget something, well, we usually don't miss it.

And the decorations. I can never get enough festive garlands, fresh flowers, and fanciful vignettes around this place, and all the way up to bedtime on Christmas Eve, I will be fussing here and there, adding a few last touches to the bedecked halls.

Here is one of my favorite last-minute flourishes: the string of white lights.

This technique could not be any simpler. 

Take a box of one hundred miniature white lights and shove them onto a horizontal surface.

Randomly droop and drape them over the objects already in place. 

Do not make the mistake of being too methodical or precise. Just toss those suckers down. Tuck them behind some of the heavier objects to keep them from falling; gently lay them in front of some smaller objects to mix up the look.

Bonus points for adding seasonal decor. I will probably go back to these shelves and add a small collection of stand-alone Santa ornaments in among the year-round tried-and-trues. But that is optional. All by themselves, the string of lights gets the holiday job done. 

Because here's another honest truth. When the other lamps in the room are turned down, and that humble string of lights shines out in the darkness, it's guaranteed that my heart will sing with the joys of the season.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 

May all our hearts blaze with the glory of this holy season. And may all our Christmases be bright. 

Merry Christmas Eve!

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