04 December 2016

Second Sunday of Advent

We stopped by Big Lots after completing our errands at Costco and some "us" time at Barnes & Noble. A year or two ago, the lights on the little pre-lighted silver tree we used for James' airplane tree died. We used it that year sans lights, and James bought a blue tree the year after, but it was not pre-lighted. We tried a candle, but there was no way to light up that tree and it sat sad in the dark unless the hall light was on. I'd been searching rather haphazardly for a new tree; really, a three-foot tree would have been perfect, but apparently they don't make three-foot trees anymore. So I changed my search to 4-foot. It's amazing how much some sites wanted for a 4-foot tree, but of course some of them came in big planters. Guys, just want a silver, pre-lighted Christmas tree.

Lowes, Home Depot, Michaels had only green trees. I guess I could have gone looking at Walmart, but...Walmart...before Christmas...oh, dear. That's suitable only for emergencies, and I couldn't find any small silver trees on their website anyway. So Big Lots was the only place I could find a 4-foot silver tree with white lights that didn't cost an arm and a leg.

Once I decanted it, I knew why it was cheap, too. I've seen twister seals with more tensile strength than the branches of this tree; if you can't hold a plastic Hallmark airplane without drooping, what's the chance it will hold a glass ornament? Poor thing was as "homely as two toads," as Aunt Emily used to say to Lucinda in Roller Skates, when I took it from the box. I've perked it up a bit, but it took a lot of fluffing, plus I had to bend some of the branches up to offset the weight of the ornaments. The stand is so wide and the stand downstairs so narrow that only two of the three feet are actually on the top; I had to shim the third leg. In the end, it came out looking okay, and I could finally use the red, green, and gold garland I bought for it originally, with the red and the green corresponding to landing lights.

Earlier in the afternoon we watched Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas based on the Maryellen series of "American Girl" books. Maryellen's adventures were released just recently and she was not one of my favorites; she's just too frivolous for me, and her little sister the ballerina is freaking annoying. I like her bookworm sister the best. Surprisingly, the film pulled the storyline together much better. Instead of Maryellen painting the front door red to welcome her mom's old war plant workers, in the television story she chiefly does it for the handicapped son of one of her mother's friends from the war plant. Instead of her going to her grandparents' for Christmas and being lonesome and disillusioned, she gives up the trip for a better reason. Plus Maryellen in the film is talented in drawing. Beverly the little dancing pest was heard from little and they gave Maryellen's dad something to do other than just be a name in the book. She was played by the same little girl who played Dolly Parton in the recent film Christmas of Many Colors (and its predecessor, Coat of Many Colors), which I found rather lightweight and unbelievable, despite the great cast; the script was just too didactic and childish. In fact this Maryellen episode was much better than that Parton film, although Alyvia Alyn Lind was perfect as young Dolly.

(Supposedly this is the first in a series of Maryellen stories on Amazon Video. Will be interested in seeing the rest. If you have Amazon Prime I recommend this.)
In the meantime, some videos to enjoy:

Probably my favorite episode of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir TV series: "The Ghost of Christmas Past"

Another "GAMM" favorite, although not Christmas: "The Medicine Ball"

Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory

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