A first Christmas in the new house

It is nearly our first Christmas in the new house.  I think I have said that at least 3 other times in my life, but this will be the last!
We have decorated as best we can.  There is some garland on the outside porch, a live tree in the great room, odds and ends of Christmas on the mantle and throughout the house.
I have carefully assembled my German carousel, which I bought in Germany during one of our forays into Europe.  This has three levels....you light candles and the heat of the candles rises, spinning some fans that turn the three levels.  On one layer there are shepherds, another has Mary, Joseph and the babe and another level has dancing naked ladies.
Just kidding.
I don't have a blue spruce to trim this year,which means I have 19 strands of outdoor c-9 bulbs that I will probably end up selling next year.  The blue spruce at our old house was about 30 foot at the tip top, which made it hard to get lights up without using a pole and hook for help.
Anyway, it's about 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and I am sipping eggnog while thinking about Christmases past.
I always have a hard time "getting in the spirit."  I've read A Christmas Carol, have It's A Wonderful Life ready to go in the DVR.  All the presents are bought and not yet wrapped, but it is early.
Presents.
I always give something different.  Fire extinguishers to the girls.  A 4 pound rutabaga to a girl in high school...although she was Jewish and it wasn't technically a Christmas present, but  her birthday was pretty close to the date and it seemed like an a good present at the time.  Slippers that double as dust mops.
The first present I remember buying on my own with my own money was a hair dryer I got my mother.  I was probably 12 or 13.  I went to Wieboldts Department Store at Lincoln, Belmont and Ashland in Chicago and picked it out myself.  It must have been 1960...or 61.  I used the money I earned on my paper route to buy this blue thing that you could hold in your hand or stand on a wooden stick.  I thought it was the most amazing, modern, coolest device ever created.
My parents would take me downtown to Fields, Carson, The Fair....and I would revel in the wonder of the season.  The incense burning log cabins on sale at Woolworth's, the monorail that ran along the ceiling at The Fair.  The wonderful windows of Marshall Field's and Carson's.  The huge tree in the Walnut Room.
I didn't get downtown this year, and I don't think I made it last year  either.  I miss the windows, the German market, the bustle and the hustle of the season.
I miss the people who created the memories that formed, or malformed, me.
It's almost Christmas in the new house.
I (and Jackie) truly wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May all your gifts be joyful, and your memories fond.
And now for some pictures.
My carousel...waiting to be lit

Can't believe I killed the plant.....but I still have not thrown it out!

This was a 12 foot tree in the field

A gas fireplace is actually pretty nice!

Fuzzy, but you get the idea



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