The holidays are (almost) here

Yes, the Christmas season has finally reached our house! We’d been waiting for a (free) Christmas tree to be delivered, it was supposed to come between last week Monday and Saturday afternoon. We were supposed to get a track and trace notification the day before delivery but when by Saturday at the end of the afternoon we had not received a track and trace or a tree, we figured the tree wasn’t coming anymore. Well, to be exact, I figured that, while Mr Esther remained hopeful. I was already working on Mr Esther for us to go out and buy a tree ourselves on Sunday but then on Saturday evening my son happened to be in the front garden when at just around 8.15 pm a van drove up, a guy jumped out, grabbed a tree from the back and thrust it into my son’s arms. “I have a Christmas tree!” Mr Esther junior called out to us inside and sure enough, there it was, still wrapped but looking just about the perfect size for our house, the size we normally get.

Yesterday afternoon the tree went up, it’s supposed to be a sturdy tree that loses fewer needles, a Nordmann fir. It would be lovely if that turns out to be the case and we’ll have less needles to deal with throughout our living room when we take it down again in a few weeks time (usually just after New Year’s). Mr Esther strung the lights and mini me and I decorated the tree. Mini me mandated a blue and silver/white colour scheme, but I did manage to sneak in a few small red ornaments, some olive tree ornaments from Bethlehem and a few small wooden toy ones (like a rocking horse and little wooden men) here and there.

Our front garden was already looking festive with some twinkle lights to guide the way to our front door. All of this pretty much sums up our complete Christmas decor: we have the Christmas tree, some twinkle lights and extra candles throughout the house and that’s it, relatively simple and just how we like it. I like that I can also see some of the twinkle lights on our big outside fir tree from the window in our dining area as I work (which I’m supposed to be doing now but no motivation and really not that much to do). I’m wondering now, whether that huge fir in our front garden once started life as a Christmas tree for the first inhabitants here back in 1978 when this house was built…

Anyway, we’re ready for the holidays now. This past weekend we’ve had to forgo our yearly German Christmas market trip we had planned with two close friends of ours, so this decorating is a little consolation.

This evening our prime minister will address the nation again, as numbers of Covid-19 cases have been rising too quickly here in The Netherlands. We were already in partial lockdown but if rumours from ‘well-informed sources’ are to be believed, we’ll be going into complete lockdown again from tomorrow or Wednesday, with all but essential services/shops closing and no visitors at home allowed anymore. It’ll make for a very bleak Christmas. I was already mourning not having the large family Christmas at my mother’s like we have each year and now it looks like even the tentative staggered socially distanced Christmas plans we were making won’t be happening either. If complete lockdown is what needs to happen to save lives, then that’s what needs to happen and we will abide but it still sucks.

In the meantime, here’s a festive virtual sing-along video to enjoy, which gave me a bittersweet feeling but also brought a smile to my face…

These remain such strange times… Just this week left for me to work and then I have two weeks off for Christmas break. It will be a very weird one.

6 thoughts on “The holidays are (almost) here

  1. Servetus

    Your tree looks very Christmassy!

    So glad to read that you’re in continued support of measures to end the transmission of the disease. Dad’s church just announced that they are having in person Christmas services. I could scream. Someone in this state is dying of COVID 19 about every twenty minutes right now. I’m impressed by the ability of the Dutch (and other Europeans) to self-discipline, something we Americans apparently lack.

    On the upside, the Wisconsin Supreme Court just struck down the last pending lawsuit from the Trump campaign opposing the certification of the election for Biden, and as we speak the Wisconsin electors are meeting to cast our electoral votes for Biden. It’s still not over but we’re a big step closer. So I will take that as an Xmas gift, too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is an excellent Christmas gift!

      As for self-discipline of Dutch people, don’t be fooled! People have been going Christmas shopping en masse and have been not so strict with following regulations which makes this strict lockdown now necessary for five (!!) weeks at least until January 19th, we just heard.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Servetus

        I just read yet another article about how “abstinence education doesn’t work” about the virus (parallels to sex education in parts of the US) and I end up thinking, well, saying “stay inside and limit your contacts to the minimum for a few more months” is not equivalent to saying to a teenager “don’t have sex until you’re married at some unspecified date or never”. But maybe it is, for certain audiences.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. free tree is cool! and a good size and does look lovely (just needs a wooden Armitage on it now!)
    Covid numbers seem to be increasing in a huge percentage of the Western world, i’m not sure if we’re even going to see my small family (my bro, SIL and niece and nephew)this Xmas because of the risk.
    your garden looks great too x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and I’m looking forward to that wooden Armitage. I’ll be sure to send a picture. 🙂

      Here we’re now allowed 2 guests in the house and 3 for Christmas but only if everyone is completely healthy and no one has any issues. So, maybe we can do some of our tentative plans after all, we’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

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