Yesterday, Byron and Najla and I trekked to Stew Lenoards in Norwalk to get a Christmas tree.

At the lot, I'm standing in the cold and dark, surrounded by a bunch of trees. I was holding up one tree, inspecting it to make sure it didn't have more than one side of scrawniness, and one of the guys who works there walks up to me, without saying a word, and takes the tree. He's standing there, holding it, and he's looking at me, so I looked at him, so he keeps looking at me. I lifted my eyebrows.



He's still holding the tree and looking at me. If he had a look on his face to convey what he wanted, I wasn't able to read it. I can only imagine he was trying to be helpful, but I started to get creeped out by the staring contest. I didn't really know what else to do, so I just grabbed the tree back and held it up. Then (from weird to weirder) he started pulling out trees that were wrapped in twine, and placing them at my feet. I didn't know what to think.

I decided on the first tree (the one that was the source of the bizarre encounter), and we had it put on Byron's car. At first the guy was going to stick it in the trunk, but Najla and I vetoed that; we didn't want to be riding home in the cold with the trunk open. So he tied it to the top. He's getting ready to secure it with twine, and asks "How far are you going?"

Excuse me? What?

Byron, being sweet and diplomatic said "Well, Trumbull, so, pretty far, I guess." I was more direct. "Look, it doesn't matter how far we're going. You secure that thing like we're driving to friggin' Kansas". Dear God. I'm becoming my mother.

The guy didn't say anything, but he secured it pretty well!

I turned to Najla and whispered, "Where'd they get these guys? Prison?"
"Be nice!"
"I am!"

My tree is up, and it's pretty and I'm happy. It's tall and skinny, and, like last year, there's a giraffe on top. I put too many lights on it, just the way I like it. So now it's Christmas in Amber's world, but I still have to go shopping.

I attempted to go yesterday; I was at work when Patrick called and asked me to meet him at the mall. He had to get a haircut, and, being that he doesn't celebrate Christmas, he didn't realize what a horrible mess the mall would be. I knew it'd be nuts, but I went anyhow, figuring I could get some shopping done with all the rest of the crazy folks who wait last minute. I didn't find anything, but I got to meet Patrick's little brother, Dakota, who is the coolest 14 year old I've ever met, and I helped Pat decide on stocking stuffers for his office Christmas party. He's getting everyone the same thing: Krazy Glue. Cheap, and useful. They left and I wandered around the mall not buying anything, because I couldn't find what I was looking for. I know what I want to get my parents, but they don't have them at the mall, and I thought they would. Walmart, here I come. (Bleck). Finally, after only buying chocolates, I decided to go home, and realized I had NO CLUE where I parked my car. Not even a little. I was on the phone when I walked in, and I didn't take note of where I parked. Plus, being the Saturday before Christmas, I drove around the entire parking lot for a long time before I found a spot, so I remembered being everywhere.

I finally found my car (it took me about an hour and a half). I'd like to say "oh, I'll never do that again!" but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the first time I've done it. No matter. I'm pleased to say that (probably due to my tree going up) my Christmas spirit has kind of arrived, and I'm going to just have to make do with kind of.