Not by my choice, but the very vast majority of the Christmas decorating falls to me.  I’m not complaining…I enjoy it.  And, I have seen what other members of my household call ‘looking great’….so I will gladly do it all myself.  Well, it’s not always ‘gladly’…but , oh well.

Last year, my DH decided that we needed lights outside.  Now, I do not know anything at all about the way you decorate…everyone has their own style and likes…but I know what I can accept and what passes as ‘NO WAY!’.  Some folks have lots of white lights…enough to light up the street.  Fine, by me.  Some have colored lights lining the house and every tree…OK by me, too.  Some have nativity scenes, or snow men, or what-have-you…all OK.  As long as it is tastefully done.  But, man, there are several houses in our town that have yards that look like the Christmas sections of K-M*rt and Wal-M*rt threw up all over their house and yard.  No kidding, they have one of everything there is for sell somewhere for all the world to see.  If that makes them happy, so be it…but it makes me start twitching.  Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about.

When DH decided to put up the lights last year…without my approval or my coasching…it was on the evening of the night of a big Christmas party-at our house.  Somewhere he came up with 7 or 8 strands of white lights and strung them through several trees in the front yard…next to the driveway…where you HAD to walk past to get into our house.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It was Tacky City, I tell you.  It was bad. [ I like those little white lights in the trees, but there has to be a method to the display.  It has to make sense, and it has to have enough lights to look like it was well thought out—not just an after thought of throwing up a few random strings of lights].  And, there those lights are still…and the cords…well there are about 8 of those thick outdoor green ones running all over the yard.  But, now there is a years worth of growth of our ground cover over them.  I tugged and pulled and struggled and yanked and could not get them loose.  So, they are there…and there they will stay.  Until HE moves them.  Or until Jesus comes.  Either way.

But what I really wanted to tell you is that our yard is very dark.  Someone failed to include enough outside lights…and I’m just saying, I wouldn’t walk up in here in the dark.  Not that anyone has any business walking up in here in the dark.  There be dogs and foxes and raccoons and armadillos and snakes in these parts…and probably some things I don’t want to know about.

Back to the topic.    Joy and I went shopping on Friday and while we were in T*arget, I spotted a very pretty angel in the Christmas Decor Dept.  It looked so pretty standing there with a harp in her hand, I thought that it would look even better in my yard.  And, so I bought it.

After all the other goodies were put away, I decided that it would be nice to put the thing together quickly and have it burning when DH got home.  And, so I got busy.  It was a pretty day, so I pulled up a chair and began opening the box.  And, that was my second mistake.  My first was buying the  ‘XXXXXX’  angel in the first place.  But, Joy insisted.  At least, I think that’s what I remember.

The box was so light that I thought there could certainly not be too much to putting it together.  Plus, it said EASY ASSEMBLY…which like a fool, I believed.  To start with, just pulling it out of the box was a chore. Friends…there was a bottom skirt front…a bottom skirt back…a top skirt front….a top skirt back….a torso…a right wing…a left wing…a left arm…a right arm…and a halo.  ALL  SEPARATE. PIECES… BUT CONNECTED WITH A LIGHT CORD !!!!  This was a royal mess, I tell you.  I pulled out the instructions and they had the nerve to start off. ” RELAX!  WE’VE DONE ALL THE HARD WORK FOR YOU!”  Oh, how they lied!  In the package was also 6 of those plastic zip tie things and 4 yard stakes to hold her upright in the yard.

OK…I can do this.  How hard can it be, really?  Someone put one together in the store, so, so can I.  And, I set about trying to separate the pieces…which you couldn’t because of the light cord.  I found the bottom skirt pieces and put them together, and zip tied them together following the instructions.  NOWHERE did it say, BE SURE THE LIGHT CORD REMAINS INSIDE THE ANGEL.  So, I found the wire cutters and cut one of thezip ties off and put her insides back inside and used another zip tie to fix it back.

Top skirt…this was the worst of all.  It couldn’t have been a straight across skirt—-no, she had to be playfully kicking her heels so as to cause one side of the skirt to raise up.  However when you put both of the ‘kicked up parts’ together, the pegs would not fit into the bottom skirt.  So, I tried it the other way…then the other way…then backwards…then I drop kicked Glory to the yard!!!  (I had to call her something, and I figured if I gave her the name Glory, I couldn’t say bad words to her…it just wouldn’t be right).

I sat there in my chair and wondered if I could even manage to get her back into the box and return her to her home in the backroom of the Bulls-eye store.  No…I CAN do this  I AM WOMAN.  And so I started again.   I got the skirt together and I zipped it on one side…then the other.  Still wouldn’t fit into the bottom pegs.    Going on a search mission, I found that some of the pegs had extra paint inside them which was, in turn, blocking the pegs from fitting inside easily.  I found something to clean the holes out and now the pegs could fit inside!  Then I had an idea that could help me and Glory!  I  found my wire and my wire cutters and I wired her so tight she couldn’t breathe!  But, I DID get the pegs into the holes.    And all the while balancing her torso and wings on my feet and knees so her backbone (the main electrical cord) wouldn’t snap.  She now looked like what you would imagine those ladies who the magicians cut in half would look like.

I pulled her torso up and fit it into the pegs.  Zipped one side, then wired the other.  (Why on earth would they only give you 6 zip ties for a girl like Glory…I needed at least 2 dozen!!!)  Anyway…wings next.   First one then the other…wired them.  Then hands.  Oh my!  One hand keeps drooping like it has no bones.  What could be wrong?  It has to be this way…I’m quite sure I’ve got it right.  Pull it out..put it back…still drooping.  Pull it out and throw it over to the side and pick up the other arm.  THE PEG WILL NOT GO INTO THE HOLE!  Upon closer observation, I discover that they have changed the game on me!  Now they are using square holes instead of round ones.  Again, no explanation from them.  Fixed second arm in and go back to first.  Get it in…still droopy, but not as bad.  Fit on the halo.  Now, just take a good look at her and tell me if you don’t think it looks as if she is ready to backhand somebody!  She is!!  And, that is just where I am sitting!!!

She is a vision.  Wired together within an inch of her life and one arm drooping slightly.  For some reason she was leaning just enough that she would not stand on her own.  OF COURSE SHE WAS.  It would be way too easy for her to stand up right.

I got her harp and fit it into its pegs.  Well, well, Glory.  I’ve done all this work, and you won’t even hold you own harp.  The ‘droopy arm’ just wouldn’t cooperate.  Otherwise…she’s a real beauty.  And, ‘perfection’ is not beauty, is it?  Our flaws give us each our own distinct beauty.

Can you see how she’s so delicately kicking up the hem of her skirt?  I think she may just have ‘dancing feet’, as well!

I pulled her out to the yard and tried her here….no, she wouldn’t go there…couldn’t stand up.  How about I prop her next to the house?  Not a good idea.  Put her close to the little tree, and close to the conglomeration of electrical wires and socket thingy stuck into the ground.  It was here that I discovered that the wires were all buried beneath the ground cover.  Bummer.  Lucky thing I bought my own 40 ft extension cord at the Bullseye.  I prop Glory up next to the tree and plug her in.  I was so anxious to see her shine and remind me that all my work had not been in vain…that she was indeed a vision of lovliness.  She just stood there and stared at me as if to say, “Why did you think this would be so easy as to just plug me in?  We are going to make a day of this, my dear!”  And, she fell over…face first onto the cold ground…saved from a mouthful of dirt by her protruding chest.

I righted her out of the goodness of my heart.  Couldn’t bear to see a Glory angel in such a state.  Then I set about trying to get her turned on…so to speak.  Of course, the 40 foot cord was just not quite long enough to reach the plug on the porch.  Luckily I had thought to buy a 15 foot cord just in case.  And, this was a case…and HOW!

She’s glowing!  I leaned her up and went out to the street to look at my handiwork..  Good job, Tonja!  Neighbor came by and said it was ‘real purty’.  I need to move her over just a tad.  I do and get the stakes out to stake her in place.  No.  I just thought I was.  I moved her all around and she was determined NOT to stand on her own.  I can fix that, says I.  And, I go get the rest of my wire.  And, friends, I wired that girl between 3 trees around the waist, around the head, around the skirt.  She is not moving…not an inch.

I left her then.  She and I had had enough togetherness for the day.  She patiently waited till dark.  I patiently waited till dark.  Then I plugged her in and went to the street…not looking until I got all the way out, so as to get the full effcct.

And, there she stood…glowing her little heart out.  A big wad of lights in her belly…a drooping arm…and a slightly askew halo….the wire reinforcements glittering in the lights.  Perfect!  For our house…and the people herein…just perfect!

(I didn’t realize until I saw these pictures that I planted the dear girl right in front of a bush…which makes a delightful design on the front of her skirt, don’t ya think?)