Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Home for the Holidays

I am happy to report that splorp! and I are completely done with the old apartment. No more cleaning, no more moving. We turned in the keys a bit early, and now we just wait for the refund of our security deposit, which should be coming any time now.

We didn't get the whole amount back - we allowed them to take money out of the deposit for cleaning because due to some unforeseen circumstances we didn't finish cleaning the apartment the way we wanted to. Oh well, it's a small price to pay to have a load off our minds.

Our unforeseen circumstances involved (in chronological order) first, the purchase of a new vacuum (the old one died while I was in the act of cleaning the apartment) and second a trip to see splorp!'s family due to the passing of his grandmother.

We had a whirlwind trip for the funeral. Though the occasion was very sad, it was nice to see the whole family pull together for the services and family gathering afterward.

Now we are home and gearing up for hosting my immediate family for the Christmas holiday on Friday, and a larger family gathering on Saturday.

We are grateful that my dad hung Christmas lights on the house before we moved in. I think with everything that has been going on lately we would not have been able to get around to it this year if he had not taken it upon himself to surprise us (and it was a pleasant surprise!).

I forget what day splorp! pulled the tree* and decoration boxes out of our garage (how cool is it to say "out of our garage" now instead of "out of the storage unit"). We got the tree put up and decorated in a fairly short amount of time. Then splorp! discovered our new fireplace mantel had holes in it already, so he used the existing holes to hang some stockings. I put up some fake green garland stuff that looks like pine and wrapped it with some red ribbons. Everything looks very festive.

So, decorations seem to be done, gifts are (mostly) wrapped, and we're pretty well set. I just need to do some last minute cleaning and some last minute grocery shopping, and we will be ready for our first party (well, parties). What a nice feeling to be almost done ahead of schedule.

We are looking forward to lots of food on Friday (day of Christmas) and then somewhat less food but a lot more people on Saturday as my extended family come to visit and check out the new house.

*Note: Yes, we have a fake tree we put up every year. Hey, I know there are some purists out there who think it's not "right" or something to celebrate using a fake tree, but there are a couple of reasons we use it:
  1. It was free, courtesy of my aunt who was downsizing her "stuff". Free and re-usable means we don't have to buy what is essentially an $80 dead tree year after year

  2. I have allergies that are greatly disturbed by fragrances, dust, and pollen (and all of that is included with the lovely pine tree), so a fake tree makes the holidays much more enjoyable for me

  3. We're not chopping down a live tree every year, which means that tree is still alive and is giving back to the environment and

  4. It's also eco-friendly to be re-using something we didn't have to buy. Not purchasing something new means there's no packaging waste year after year, there's no fuel costs incurred shipping a dead tree to southern California, and finally, see #3 again. It's an important point.

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