In Which Ella Finishes Preparing for Christmas

The Ella family household is officially prepared for Christmas.

We purchased the Christmas tree and located the ornaments so that we can decorate it tomorrow. I’ve always found it strange that many people put their tree directly after Thanksgiving, but I’m sure that our tradition of trimming it on the weekend closest to Christmas seems equally bizarre to others. And I’m sure the way that my parents and I decorate it would also confuse them. It’s a process that lasts many hours because everything has to go on in a specific order, starting with the lights, moving onto garlands of Norwegian flags (We’re very found of Scandinavian Christmas decorations around here.) and garlands of stars, and then finishing it with ornaments that have to go on in a very particular order. It takes over three hours and Pippa and my Dad usually quit after the first hour and a half.

My dad and I went to a Swiss pork store where I perused the candies, and my father bought beef tenderloin, bratwursts, bacon, salami, and beef bones for the coming week. By the time we left the store, my wool coat smelled faintly like smoked meats, and I was the proud owner of many packs of candy, including one that advertised in very butchered English that it was “cooked over an open fire and broken into pieces.” I have absolutely no idea what its going to taste like, but whenever I see candy, or any food for that matter, advertised like that, I’m going to buy it. I also have a pack of something that looks sort of yellow and spherical. I’m going to need Cecelia to translate to make sure that I’m not going to blindly eat lemon-flavored hardened liver, though I doubt the candy would make it in Switzerland and Germany if it were disgusting.

Later, I spent the evening finishing my Christmas wrapping, only to emerge from the craft space to discover that everyone else had gone to bed, which I suppose is what happens to you when you decide to take your wrapping very seriously. When my father came down to check on me a few hours earlier, he laughed at me for using a ruler to measure the distance between the paper ribbon I was taping to a package. I wanted to make sure that it was straight and only had a 3/4 inch gap between the other strip. Pippa bailed on me about twenty minutes into the process when I started asking for her assistance with selecting papers. Apparently, she does find it interesting to debate the relative textures and shades of two gold papers (though the ribbing on the lighter gold definitely gives a present a more architectural feel, especially when paired with a band of a darker, heavier, and smoother paper in lieu of a ribbon).

Tomorrow, it’s tree-trimming time and my favorite church service of the year. I also plan on consuming my weight in bacon-wrapped dates.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at, if, you know, you’re into that kind of thing.

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