Now that Advent has begun and December is just over the horizon, it was time for our team to get to work on tree trimming and decorating. Wednesday was designated as the day, so Tuesday JustBob and his Three Wise Guys, Dennis, Butch and Tom, brought one tree in the house and set up in the front hall, and set up another tree outside. (Thank you to Schumachers Family Tree Nursery for the donation of both trees.) Marge brought up a couple of loads of decorations from the decorations storeroom downstairs and staged them on the benches in the front hall. All was ready for Wednesday’s scheduled 10 am start.
Now, eight of us crowding around one tree in the narrow front hallway did not seem like a good idea, so we split up the work. Marge and Candy got the tree in the chapel in place and plugged in, then went to work setting up all the nativity scenes in the hall windows. Kim, Adele, Jackie H. and Barb worked on the tree in the front hall, with Jackie K., aka Santa’s chief elf and project supervisor, keeping a close eye on the work crew.
Meanwhile, JustBob and Tracy were working on another kind of project. A local scrap dealer came to pick up another load of dead appliances and other scrap metal that has been collecting dust in the basement for too many years. In keeping with the spirit of the day, though, I suppose you could say they were just a couple of elves filling up a different kind of sleigh!
Soon we were ready to take a load of empty boxes back downstairs and bring more decorations up. Candy had already distributed the holly berries around the dining room, so Marge and Jain got the tree and manger set up there as well. Thankfully, there were no cameras in the area as only our “best sides” would have been in the picture. Jain hung the evergreen bough over the door outside the chapel, Barb put a few decorations in the Conference Room, and Marge and Jain put a few in Joan’s Lounge. By then it was time for Kim, Jackie H., Candy and Tracy to get to work work making pizzas to feed the hungry elves for lunch.
While waiting for the pizzas to be ready, there were three milk crates full of Christmas lights that were not used on the tree inside, so Marge checked them to see how many worked so we could decorate the tree outside. Surprisingly, most of the lights worked. After lunch, Marge took the last load of boxes back downstairs while Jackie K. and Adele went to work decorating the outdoor tree. That was no small challenge, given the blustery winds and below zero wind chills they had to deal with. But they got it done, and without being blown off the ladder. (If anyone in the Marathon area finds some Christmas ornaments in their yard, well, now you know where they came from.)
Decorating a house this large is a big job, but it was amazing how quickly everything was completed. Most of the work was done in less than two hours, and by mid-afternoon everyone had returned to their normal routines. As has been written here many times, many hands make light work. More than that, though, there was no bickering, no criticism, no right way, wrong way or “we’ve always done it this way”; there was just a lot of cooperation, camaraderie and teamwork.
For cooperation and camaraderie, the blessings of the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of teamwork, and for homemade pizzas, we say Deo Gratias!
P.S. Be sure and check out our Facebook page on Saturday for more pictures!