Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Where are those instructions?"

On Monday, I took the girls to church to help decorate for the Advent season. Each church has its own traditions.  Our church puts up garlands of greenery, red bows, an advent wreath and candles, and a 12 foot tree with Chrismon ornaments. (Although many Chrismon ornaments are ancient Christian symbols, like the dove or the fish, the concept of Chrismon decorations was only begun in the 1950s.)

Anyway, a group of us gathered, and began to tackle the 12 foot tree. Doug, in the hat, adjusts the base. It was readjusted at least twice. Don looks on.
The tree is made of 5 sections.  "E" is on the bottom.  "A" is on the top.  The men mistakenly put "D" in the base first.  That was the first time I heard Alison (below) say softly, "Where are those instructions?"
So, finally we found the A-E labels on each section, realized the correct order, and painfully got "E" on the bottom! Phew! Now Ron looks on. It definitely became a "man thing."
The lights are already attached to the sections, so as you put in each new section, you have to find all the electrical connections (there seemed to be a kazillion).  The men are all bustling around, reaching into the tree, saying things like, "I need a female end!"  "This one is labeled orange!" and such. Meanwhile, the woman are all bustling around the tree like little church mice, "fluffing."  Fluffing involves straightening each little branch, since they've all be squashed up for 11 months in a box.
The women, "fluffing."
Ahhhh.  At last, Ron is willing to find those instructions! I forget what mishap this event was meant to correct.  At one point I do know that we'd mis-loaded the various sections and the women were all willing to leave out "B" and just slap the crown on the tree anyway. Not those men!  They would conquer the beast!  They got their way :)
Alison is pre-fluffing the top of the tree. I'm actually glad we didn't omit one section;  it would have looked weird.
Toward the end, Don quietly went to work on garlands and bows.
Ron stretches for the top! It's really hard to get it straight. He eventually had to stand on the next-to-last rung.
Ahh.  At last, the finished tree.  Poor Doug got stuck with the task of putting decorations on the top.  You all know how picky women can be about decorations -- especially the few women who hold the honor of decorating the church! We were constantly telling him, "No, a little to the right!"  "Turn it toward me!" "Just a little lower!  No higher!"  Poor Doug!
We couldn't stay till the end.  We had grocery shopping to do.  I also stopped by the mall for a few Christmas presents, which really put the girls "in the mood" and then we dashed into Sonic for their 1/2 price afternoon beverages -- a special treat for us. Then on to WalMart, back home to cook supper, and then off to Bible Study for the evening.  What a fun, full day!

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