I have always wanted a big bunch of mistletoe at Christmas – like in the old drawings in Charles Dicken’s books. And now I do! Hanging strategically in the middle of the hallway through which all must pass! It grows wild in the trees here, so when we were on our way back from a walk, I asked Zeus to stop the car while I got out and cut some. Turns out I wasn’t quite tall enough, so I had to turn back to the car and make pleady puppy eyes, and then Zeus got out and cut it for me. My hero! It seems, actually, that my boys don’t need a whole lot of encouragement for smooches. In fact, they usually try to waylay me – as in this photo. ***** Since we came with what we could fit into twelve suitcases and not exceeding 50 pounds, you may imagine that we didn’t bring a lot of our Christmas decorations. In fact, when talking about it long ago, the girls had said how it would be fun to do new decorations this year, and see what we could make. I did waver a bit sometimes – the stores are full of a lot of the same kind of stuff as at home. All glittery and shiny and not even too expensive. And when you read the label on it no wonder – it’s all made in China! This has always irked me – Christians in China are not free to celebrate Christmas, but somehow they are free to export a lot of Christmas crap. Hmmph. I did find myself thinking though, Should I just get a bunch of new stuff?? Our budget isn’t as tight right now as we thought it might be. But when I brought it up with The Committee, they resounded with an emphatic “NO!” So we didn’t, but got busy instead with our homemade Christmas. We spray painted some pinecones with gold and glittery spray paint. We cut out paper snowflakes and made some gingerbread cookies for the tree – anyone recognize the Ikea cookie cutters? Hermes strung popcorn… …and worked on his fine motor skills. We dried orange slices in Popop’s fruit dryer and then hung them on with pretty ribbon. The boys also got busy and creative and made us some Lego ornaments! I drew the line at the Lego skeleton Hermes was putting on (‘No skeletons on the Christmas tree!’) but there are some other adventurous Lego guys jumping about in the jungle of branches, including Indiana Jones. I asked Hermes if Indy was seeking the True Treasure of the Ages, and he said vaguely that he was, so I am letting it slide. And here it is! Our Christmas tree! We did buy some lights, and we’ve since added a star on top and a skirt that is actually a duvet cover in just the right shade of red. There are also a lot of foil wrapped ornaments in fun shapes: mushrooms, angels, bells, and they are all filled with?? Three guesses??? Chocolate! Chocolate!! CHOCOLATE!!! That is a beautiful thing about this country. The rule is to wait until the 25th to start nibbling. It’s not a super glamour tree, and that is just fine. It is happy and homey and very edible! It makes me feel like this.