Then Husband adds the twinkly lights--and here we hit a small snag this year. You see, I thought I remembered that one of our strands had failed to work properly last year, meaning that Husband had to st-r-e-t-ch the remaining ones to cover all of the boughs without leaving any sad, unlit spaces. So I bought another string a few days before we planned to decorate--and congratulated myself on my memory, foresight, and proactive handling of the situation, to avert a potential holiday crisis (or what have you).
However...apparently I'm not terribly...um...shall we say "observant"...since I failed to notice that all of the other LEDs currently gracing our faux evergreen are white...yet I purchased the multicolored variety. Oops! Too late to do anything about it, so I shushed the little voice in my head going, "But...but...they don't MATCH! It looks weird! Do. It. Over!!" and decided that--for 2017, anyway--we were just going to embrace a little bit of...diversity...in our yuletide decor.
|Yep, it works!|
And then, once all of the special baubles had been arranged to my satisfaction, we arrived at the last very important task: rounding up the resident goofballs for the annual December Photo Shoot. One never knows what to expect from this endeavor...except that it inevitably will take twice as long as I think it should...and that there will be multiple moments of unbridled silliness. But first, due to the fact that I only use the self-timer function on my camera once a year, for this moment, I always need to skim the instructions and take a test shot or two, to make sure I know what I'm doing BEFORE calling in all of the guys. (Practice pic: check...)
Moving on...because I'm evidently a total glutton for punishment, I decided I wanted the boys to pose together in front of the tree, like I used to have them do when they were wee tots. You know, when they were young and wriggly and had the attention span of a flea, but I could strike a bargain with them by allowing candy canes during the proceedings, and thus get an angelic depiction of my sweet children. See? Absolutely precious, right?
Yeaaaahhh...now they're beyond the "bribing with treats" phase...and therefore much more difficult to coerce into behaving (which I realize sounds ridiculous, given that they're both in HIGH SCHOOL, for crying out loud, but there you have it...). So it went more along the lines of, "Okay, stand in front of the tree. Closer together. In the center. THE CENTER! Now look at me. Stop grimacing. Look at the camera. AT THE CAMERA! Quit laughing--this isn't supposed to be funny. Stop talking. Stay where you are--your eyes were closed, we're taking it again. Now hold still. You blinked AGAIN. One more time. Dude, seriously, could you possibly Keep. Your. Eyes. OPEN?" It was freakin' magical, I tell ya. Derek finally figured out that if he doesn't stare directly at the flash, he has an outside chance of succeeding at the open-eyed look. So mostly we have captured Riley, trying his darndest not to collapse on the floor in helpless giggles, and Derek, gazing off into the distance mysteriously. Siiiighhhhh....bless their pea pickin' hearts....
Derek: "I'm wearing Nike, how about you, Riley?"
Riley: "Mmm...(checks his shirt to make sure) Adidas!"
It should come as no surprise that this was immediately followed by me yelling "That's it! Next year, I'm RENTING A NEW FAMILY for the holiday photo!" I was kidding...eh, at least partially. Finally, at looooong last, we achieved a decent representation of Team WestEnders, 2017 (5). I tell ya, it was like...a Christmas miracle. Aaaannnnd, not wanting to press my luck any further, I promptly dismissed them. (I believe my exact words were, "We're done here! Now go away!") Whew...pictures done, cards ordered--someone get me a hot chocolate...and don't skimp on the whipped cream, 'cuz I earned it this year, y'all!