And then there was the tinsel. These pretty things give a lovely finishing touch -- as long as they're hung so that they dangle loose and straight. If you just hook one on one of the branches, it will tend to stick out at a silly angle, defying gravity and looking nothing like an icicle. The only solution is to hang them from the wires of the lights or to remove some of the needles on the tip of a branch so that the little tin icicle can hang straight. It's a tedious job but it's done!
At last all the ornaments are on the tree, from the crocheted snowflakes and the stuffed hearts and the doves and the candy canes and the red bows and Justin's kindergarten paper star to the survivor of the starfish couple given to us by friends
I still have to cut greenery and bring it inside --- later in the week. But the corner cupboard is wearing its Christmas look. . .There are lots of Santa's and several creches, including this odd one from India (I love the off-hand way the shepherds carry their sheep and the Fifties suburban housewife hairdo that Mary sports.)
These little figures from Italy are my favorites. I gave them to my grandmother about fifty years ago and there was also a lamb. The lamb disappeared a while back -- I think William got it. And the canopy (the wire thingie from a champagne bottle) on the manger was added by one of my boys -- and now it's a part of the Christmas tradition.