All told, 14-some hours of driving and about 20 hours of billable work…and three nights away from home in a hotel that had a wonderful free wireless internet connection that actually allowed me to stay connected for a whopping 3 minutes at a time. I pulled back into town Thursday night just in time to pick up Sparkle and the princess to go to a fundraiser dinner at a local restaurant for the princess’ pre-school (I insisted we take Sparkle’s car as I’d already seen the inside of my truck too much for one day).

Christmas decorating has been in full-swing here at our house, and looks to be more or less done. Christmas is the one time of the year that we go all out in decorating. We may get a lily for the table at Easter, or a pumpkin at Halloween, but that’s it. Christmas, however, is another matter.

The lights on the outside of the house went up the day after Thanksgiving. That’s my traditional “Friday after” exercise to work off the turkey and stuffing from the night before. As much as I grumble about doing it sometimes, I really like getting the lights up and how the house looks afterwards, although I do get a bit frustrated with the process.

That, and certain aspects of the tree (more on that below) are my jobs for the overall decorating. Sparkle handles the bulk of the interior decorating, as well as overseeing most of the trimming of the tree. When I left for my trip, most of the decorations were still in the six giant plastic bins we have in the garage, mostly due to the fact that we were having the carpets cleaned while I was gone.

Sparkle didn’t waste any time the day after that, however, because when I got home, all the bins except the two with tree decorations were empty and the house looked great.

We’d decided before I left that we’d get the tree Friday afternoon, because it was really the only time we had to do it. This is my every-third-weekend of duty for the fire department, and next weekend is devoted to several Christmas parties. So, Friday around 4:30, we headed down to the tree lot across the street from the fire station and bought a tree (after a brief interlude for me to run across the street to respond to a medical call that got toned out just as we parked at the tree lot).


I mentioned that one of my other jobs had to do with the tree. Specifically, my job is to get the lights up on the tree. Then, Sparkle takes over with directing the rest of the decorating.

As I got the lights out and ready to start stringing them, Iris started to say “Would you like me to…” and then paused with a cross between a grimace and a smirk. I looked at her expectantly, and she said ruefully, “I was going to ask if you’d like me to stand in the corner. So you can hand the lights around the tree to me.”

I took great pleasure in saying “Yes, go stand in the corner, young lady,” as she knew I would.

I took great pleasure in repeating that to her several more times during the decorating. I think she took great pleasure in sticking her tongue out at me too.

Even holiday decorating can be kinky.