The sun has set on another weekend, this one busier than most. Yesterday we completed a number of errands around town before heading out in search of a real Christmas tree. It’s an annually recurring discussion in our house… we like a real tree of course, but we can always think of other things to do with $50. In any event, we found a place that offered free hot chocolate, free sleigh rides, an indoor tree display, fire pits, and the option of cutting your own tree or selecting a pre-cut one. Sold. We experience the fire pit and the hot chocolate, which had run out by the time we finished the sleigh ride. Downside: the arena was filled with all manner of balsam, white spruce, and many other fancy types that translated into $40-50 for a 5-7′ tree. We could have gotten that in the city… I’d only brought $40 cash, but we weren’t prepared to part with all of it for a tree. A short discussion about Canadian Tire was held, since they had nice trees for $30. Around this time, I discovered that the sign near a group of spruce trees had a smudge on it, and read “Natural Spruce, $15.95” and not “$45.95”. I waded in and surveyed the remaining trees, listening to a gaggle of women talking about how important a real tree was, even if it was “a Charlie Brown tree.” I didn’t have to lower my sights quite that much, as I found a decent 9′ one which now sits in our living room. It’s one of those trees that works just fine if you want to tuck it in a bit closer to the wall and don’t need to decorate its backside at all.

Putting up the tree ssems so often to be the reason for entirely rearranging the living room furniture, and today was this meant rebuilding the entertainment center… after pricing out a couple of options yesterday, the simple route was executed today with some pine boards and bricks I had to dig out of a snowbank at a local garden center. While the snow melted off of the bricks in the front entrance, my wife and I started a homemade wine kit, so we should have a healthy supply of Gewurztraminer in January.

We had decided to try and make St. Ben’s each week of Advent this year… it’s only the second Sunday of Advent and we went instead this evening to The Living Christmas Tree, an annual show that’s been put on by a local church for the past 23 years. This was the first time we went, and it’s quite a big production with lots of attention to the sets, which were well done… this year they had a Smart Car driving on and off stage. It was well done, one of those types of events where you aren’t sure if the music is interrupting the drama or vice-versa. I ended the evening wondering (as I have in the past) why “christian dramas” always need to have a character who doesn’t understand the gospel but is interested enough to pay attention and ask the right questions while another character explains it all. Somehow it’s just gotta be extremely obvious I guess… but I still prefer to see something more clever.

Our oldest daughter is developing quite an interest in drama, so perhaps we’ll find more opportunities to expose her to theatre. Brought back memories for me of the scene design I did back in college… now approaching 20 years ago. I did set design, construction, and lighting for several productions, had fun at it, then stopped.

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