Jacob returned home from Basic Training on the 20th and we all went out later that day to pick out our tree (he wanted to buy us a real one this year vs putting up the artificial one). Well, he and George picked out the tree and we got home and went to put it up and discovered it was a lot taller than we thought and wouldn't fit in front of the window where we normally put it, so we had to move some furniture around and put it in the middle of the room against one wall where the ceiling peaked to get it up and it barely fit there. We measured and the ceiling was 12ft. at that point and the tree ended up once in the stand to be about 11.5ft. Harold wouldn't agree to buy a larger stand for it and went and got 10 lb. bags of cat litter to put around the base to keep it from toppling over. Well, it made it thru Christmas, but this morning when they got up they discovered it had fallen over during the night (now keep in mind I did not go to bed until about 3:30am and it happened by the time Jacob was up around 8am), by the time I got up they had all the ornaments off of it (only one broke - one I got in an ornament exchange)... Oh yes, the cats DID NOT knock the tree down as they were shut-up in the basement for the night. So this is the earliest we have ever had our tree down, we usually don't take it down until some time in Jan. and have even been known to go into the 1st week of Feb. before taking it down. I figure once I put up all the decorations I want to enjoy them for a while. So I procrastinate on it, but this year I had no choice. We will definitely be getting a new tree stand (since this one cracked) for next year.
Well anyway, Santa paid us a visit and left some lovely gifts. The boys and I each got a new camera and are having fun taking pics of everything in sight. You know me - I usually have my camera in hand and if I don't, I have my cellphone and use the camera on it for lack of not having mine on me. The digital screen on my camera has a cracked effect going on on the display image, so I decided to ask Santa for a new one and to upgrade me and he very gratiously did. I now have a Sony DSLR-A200 and a 75mm-300mm lens to also put on it (however that one is on backorder). (Note: most of these pics are using my old camera as taken before I got the new one). The boys each got a Casio Exilim - Jacob a 10.1mp and George an 8.1 mp. Harold got the double volume books of Willie & Joe (Army cartoons from WWII) and was very happy with that and several other books he had on his list. So Santa was good to us all this year - Again!
I didn't decorate a lot this year, so only a few of my tons of junk were put out, so this was pretty much it for this year. Li'l Bit proclaimed Santa's lap as hers, Tigger and Angel had to settle for the floor or on a chair with us.
Oh yes, I had a Secret Santa this year that left a little something on my door Christmas morning and the boys discovered it for me. It was determined that my friend Mary was the sneaky culprit (it was a toss-up between her and Margarethe). Here is a picture of that surprise gift - isn't it cute! It is filled with fibers, star brads and eyelets in red and green and the little note on it says "In case of emergency - Break Glass!"