November 24, 2009

The Thanksgiving Revolution

Thanksgiving week follows a pattern.
Tuesday is cleaning.

Wednesday is baking.

Thursday is football, hikes, and then turkey.

Friday is when the Christmas decorations go up.

The morning following Thanksgiving always consisted of my dad pulling boxes out of the attic, my mom setting up her Christmas forest, and I got to hang the Christmas lights.

I would untangle the lights, and then, in lieu of a ladder, I would scale the 6 foot block fence, hop up to the roof, then begin hanging the lights.

Sometimes I would pull my younger sisters up on the roof with me, but they never went near the edge. I was the only one that like hanging off the side of the house.

When I finished my house, my mom would drive me over to my grandparents. I loved hanging the lights at my grandparents home. Years ago, before icicle lights became popular, you would have to artfully string the lights to get an icicle effect. My grandma loves the icicle effect.

I would start on the roof of the neighbors house, because they were all connected, and swoop the lights over the tops of the bushes. While I was up there, my grandpa would hand me the trimmers so that I could shape up his bushes since I was up there anyways.

My grandpa would direct me, up another inch, to the right a bit. If he wasn't speaking, that means he liked it.

Over the driveway, across the fence, around and around the 20 foot cypress tree, I would hang from the roof and attach the lights. After the lights were hung, Grandpa would hand me a small white reindeer, with a blinking red nose. Rudolph grazed above the door.  Over him, the star of Judea.

When Grandpa and I were done, Grandma would come and look. "It looks nice Caroline. We're just so lucky to have a granddaughter like you." She would take my hand and give it a few pats. "I'll come out and look tonight when I can see it better." Grandma always called me Saturday morning with a few revisions.

For years and years, that was my system. Even after I moved out of my parents house, even when I was first married, I would show up to my grandparents home Friday morning, ready to work, because Friday is when the Christmas decorations go up.

Today is Tuesday.

Today, amid preschool, and cleaning, and errands, and bus stops, I happened to purchase two boxes of Christmas lights.

Today, when I showed my kids the boxes full of bright colored lights, they begged for me to put them up.

Today, after being subjected to the cutest, most devastating, battering of eyelashes by all four of my children, I hung Christmas lights....

On a Tuesday....

It's a Thanksgiving Revolution.