Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone

My eldest uncle has died.  (obit.)  Services are this Friday morning. He had been ill for a few years, so this has not come as a huge surprise, but still sad. This season is a hard time to lose someone.

"The slat tree" -
in the dining room
I've been on the DL for a week or so. Started feeling a little hitch in my breathing about a week ago that, by Friday, had become pretty uncomfortable. Took the first available appointment at the Clinic that day, and was glad that I did. Thought I'd feared that it was pneumonia, it turned out to be viral bronchitis. I've never had bronchitis with no coughing involved, but we apparently just caught it early enough in the progression for it not to get to that stage. A course of steroids was prescribed and I seem to be on the mend.

Christmas preparations have not exactly gone the way they were intended. I've done some shopping, wrapped some gifts, and written a card. The trees are up and decorated - all four of them - and lots of decorations randomly plunked around the house. I seem to have an excess of Christmas these days. None of it is organized, though, and I'm not sure how close I am to having a handle on the gift-giving thing. I guess I'll find out in about 12 days, huh?

This Friday also happens to be the annual Christmas party at my place of work. It used to be A Really
"The gazebo tree" -
through the sliding door,
across the deck
Big Deal, held at the country club outside of town, a white-tablecloths sort of affair, significant others invited, gifts for everyone, large door-prizes, very fancy. The year that I started, it was determined that the whole hog needed to slim down. Apparently people were more interested in using some of that party money for a bigger bonus, instead.

It seems like maybe some sort of middle ground could have been found.

The party, now, is a sort of cocktail hour, in the lobby of the place of work. Significant others are very specifically not welcome. I would estimate that roughly a quarter of the group attends. The food is really quite good, considering, and there is an open bar. (Such as it is, when no one would dare have more than one or two under the circumstances!) There are some prize drawings, but definitely nothing huge. It is a modest party, with much to be modest about.

And yet, I'm looking forward to it. The day is likely to be long and sad. I hope that the night will be about friends and fun - and maybe some good surprises.

[the title quotation is by Charles M. Schulz]

"The dowel tree" -
in the fireplace room

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