Well, we got the tree up. This is actually impressive news. And strange to say, it's still alive - which is even more impressive news. AND we have a few ornaments! So life is good all round.
We had to leave all of our ornaments in Moscow when we left, and last year I never got around to aquiring any in time. (I had other things on my mind like trying to figure out where the grocery store was and how to not kill myself trying to drive to it on the left side of the road!) So this meant that when the time to decorate the Christmas tree rolled around I just handed the kids a whole load of pipecleaners and some beads and told them to go to it. This resulted in several things. The first was beads up the nose, and the other was a really, really bizarre little Christmas tree. The poor thing just had wiry bits sticking out all over it and nothing else really. As if that wasn't bad enough, it promptly lost all its needles. And when I say all, I am not exaggerating in the slightest. By Christmas day, the tree had not one single needle left from about 5 feet on down. It seriously looked like a disease had swept through the forest leaving only a wreckage of orange twigs. Of course, all of these needles fell off onto my living room floor you realize. I did my best to clean up the ones that broke free and got out onto the carpet. But the rest that fell in and amongst the presents just had to wait until after the tree came down.
And the tree came down on Christmas day, before lunch. I have never in my life whipped a Christmas tree out the door so fast . . . the kids took their new things upstairs, and when they got back there was no more tree. And I doubt that vaccuum cleaner has recovered yet.
So when I tell you that my Christmas tree is still alive, you will realize the full weight of my joy in this statement. And like I said, this year we have a few ornaments - aren't the mushrooms fun? I'm pleased with those.