If you squint your eyes, the Christmas tree seems even brighter.

I'm taking a break from the drudgery of work and packing to share some happier tidbits. While we are all incredibly sad about the loss of Lucky, everyone seems to be taking it in stride. Our family has had some great track records of dealing with grief in all its forms and everyone's support is a great help. We all cheered ourselves up on Sunday night by working on our Christmas tree that came from the office. We had a tree gifted to us when the 9' tree from the office had to leave lest our newest employee puff up like a blowfish from allergies (note: we should add that to the interview questions for any future employees). Since we like Jen more than needles stuck in the carpet at the office, the tree had to find a new home and with some creative trimming it fits nicely in the corner of our living room.

My parents came over to help with the tree and I was reminded that Daddy really enjoys putting up a tree. Since we not only had our lights but the six strings from the office (this is what happens when Bossman and I can't agree on what to buy), there were plenty of lights to go around. We had to do some bulb testing to get my favorite set to work and replace some duds along the way, so that slowed us down a bit, but we were undeterred. At one point my father was going to go home and get his voltage meter, but I reminded him of the giant pile of lights in the floor we still had to work with and a medley of lights might be a better use of all our efforts. Once we had filled the tree with lights, it really did start to look like Christmas.

I'm still woefully unprepared for the holidays, having not purchased a single present yet, but it seems to work out every year. While working on the tree with my father and chatting with my parents it felt like we were building some fine holiday memories of our own. In many ways it was a way to take lemons and turn them into lemonade so that we could enjoy some quality time together and give my father a chance to reminisce about our beloved cat while focusing on some happier projects than digging graves in the backyard.

It also helped that while we were working on the tree, the kitties were super involved in chasing the strings of lights across the floor and investigating all the boxes of crinkly paper. It's always nice to enjoy those around us while we give thanks for those we miss.

I don't know that we'll actually get around to putting garland on the tree this year unless I go out and buy more because Ms. Kitty has staked her claim. I hope everyone else is able to focus on some happy things in amongst the stress of preparing for the holidays. If you need to, just look at the cute kitty pictures occasionally. It cheers me and Daddy up.

Isis in the garland
Ms. Kitty stakes her claim to the garland