Productivity 'R' Us!!!

It's been a Getting Things Done kinda few days here... filing away heaps of paper, unpacking (still), getting Margo (who is now 94) off some mailing lists... Margo gets lots of upsetting, heartrending letters from charities saying "Dear Mrs. E, at this time of year, it is more important than ever to protect our poor donkeys/children/blind people/cancer sufferers/etc from freezing to death/going bald/starving so here is a form for you to fill in. Will you give £10 or £20? Simply tick box and send cheque.

These are accompanied with distressing photos of children in various stages of distress, or dying donkeys, or whatever. And there are dozens of them. Sometimes they send a 'Thank You' sheet of stickers or something, ALWAYS with another form to tick and fill because they always need money.

The letters make Margo sad, and she cannot remember that she sent them money just last week so she sends more. Last week I skimmed through her mail and hid over a dozen begging letters in my handbag over the course of the week.

People, if it was one or two, it would be fine, but Margo has obviously got on a charity jackpot mailing list and it's crazy. So I've spent the last few days emailing charities individually, registering Margo on a mail blocking system, and generally making a fuss everywhere. Hopefully this will slow the torrent of charity mail, to a manageable trickle.

In other news, It's getting colder and we're getting excited about Christmas! I've even been shopping, and am hiding things in the tops of cupboards to my heart's content. Max still believes in Santa (or, he wants to, which is just as important) so I get to have another year of Santa fun! We'll have lots of cousins around this year who are younger, and Chas and Sam are really good at keeping the magic alive. We're having a BIG solstice party and I'm trying to figure out how to seat sixteen plus... AND, will we have a REAL Christmas tree this year? I'm thinking about it! Any suggestions? How long do they last?

We're really doing our celebrating on the Solstice: Chas and Sam are flying to Trinidad on Christmas Day. They are feeling incredibly grown-up about this! Max and I are staying. This caused many tears, as Max was going to go, but I was staying, and Max said he didn't think I should be all alone on Christmas Day so he would stay and help me take care of Margo, since he did get a Trini holiday in January this year. A sweet act, and a very difficult decision for him. The fact that Santa would not be giving presents to anyone who got a plane ticket helped with the decision of course. I can't tell you what Max is getting for Christmas, because Chasbo and Samwise are DYING TO KNOW! (Hi, guys!) But it's SO cool, and I can't wait to try it out!

So on that jolly note, I'll go make a sustaining stew, such as would sustain some boys when they come in from school and football and whatnot. How are your Christmas plans coming along? Are you celebrating Thanksgiving?


Unknown said…
Thanksgiving is going to be quietly celebrated at home with family. we'll have turkey and all the trimmings, and I will look at my sons and count my blessings. And be thankful - after all, that's what Thanksgiving is all about.

Christmas trees keep well if you put them in sugar water - your 'stand' should be able to hold water. Otherwise, the needles drop off and then you have them EVERYWHERE. And a dry tree is a dangerous tree - as in "burn the house down' tree. So be careful. Please.
aclare said…
I have to say (sorry in advance)that a real Christmas tree, besides smelling nice, is a bit of a disapointment to me. The pine needles drop off after the first day and then knit themsvelves into the carpet. The banches spread far too wide and look haphazard. But then I do like me Christmas trees to look perfect with a million winking lights so perhaps I'm a bit bias on the real vs artifical tree front. That and I the fact that I love my tree as it is 7 feet of prefection!!

Although it has to be said that a real tree if you have never had one is good for the novelty!

So perhaps you should have one as I think you will like it!
Nan Sheppard said…
Pine needles everywhere sounds FUN!! I was thinking of NOT lighting the tree at all... this house has idiosyncratic wiring from a bygone age. And wooden floors. No, I think decorations will be enough! (And heaven knows, we have ENOUGH decorations!)
Nan, Thanksgiving joy and blessings on you all! I'll get to see Chas and Sam when they come to Brasso and I can't wait! Kahlil is over the moon about seeing them again. I'll be here but heading to Trinidad on the 17th of Dec. The cooks at Crossroads do a traditional Thanksgiving dinner so I'll be well cared for. Love & hugs.
The Mother said…
Since we don't do Christmas, we aren't making plans. But I do intend to sit around the house, drink wine and do a lot of crossword puzzles.
Anonymous said…
A fresh cut well-watered tree will last over a month, so enjoy all that lovely smell and greenness in your home!
Such busyness there! And I, for one, am glad you're on Team Margo and protecting her from the scams. Yipes!
Always thankful for this holiday of gratitude, no obligations.
Anonymous said…
Max is very sweet, even with the other incentives! I hope the other two have a fantastic vaccy too.
Yes we are celebrating Thanksgiving. We're in America this year after all :) But I'm bringing mince pies to it, for dessert.
My love, I wish I was there to help trim the tree,
I will miss you dearly and will cry for you when they play the Elvis songs.
I will have my big boys here but no doubt they will be stolen away by other friends and family while I work away their tickets.
I am bitter, no doubt, that we will be apart but I look forward in earnest in spending my birthday with you in the new year.
May your Christmas decorating be full of fun and may you all have a grand time for the holidays.
I wish it could be better.
Love always,
Miranda said…
I have heard that in the uk they don't do trees till much later than trinis, so maybe mid dec a real tree will last a few week? I do love my 7 ft artificial galaxy glitter tree!

Can't wait to see the boys in brasso!
Sally-Ann said…
We have a real tree every year and the best way to keep it fresh is to make sure the end is freshly cut when you buy it (they usually do it for you) and to give it a can of sprite every few days.
As for pine needles everywhere, I tend to agree with Anne of Green Gables that heaven probably smells like dying pine trees!
We spent Thanksgiving here at home and I even got a cake. Your godson was awesome at singing Happy Birthday and blowing out my candles. He was even better at stealing chocolate off it later!
Talk to you soon!