The little Christmas tree was in place, but naked except for the lights that came pre-attached. Dozens and dozens of ornaments were nestled in their totes, waiting to be selected for the honor of gracing the 2020 Tannenbaum.

It was time to trim the tree, but first we had to set the mood with some sounds of the season. I’d been craving some Josh Groban tunes, so I dug his Christmas CD out of the stacks and put it in the music machine. Ah, Josh Groban singing “Silent Night” makes the tree-trimming task a joy!

As I carefully selected the proper ornament for the proper spot, I eyed some glass icicles. “Oh, they’ll be pretty,” I thought. Then, out of the corner of my right eye I saw Willow on the mantel, posed to pounce and staring at the tree. I put the glass icicles back in the tote and decided I’d use metal ones this year.

It was a slow process, what with most of the ornaments acquired with a much larger tree in mind. But life changes things, and here we are with a little boy who’s not so little now and who doesn’t require a mammoth tree to celebrate Christmas, thus it’s a little tree that needs adornment.

At some point, I noticed that I didn’t recall hearing Josh sing “Little Drummer Boy,” so I glanced at the CD player and the red light told me I was listening to song number 13.

“How did I get to song 13 all of a sudden?” I wondered. Upon closer inspection I ejected the CD and tried it again. Nothing happened. I picked out “The Nutcracker” CD and tried it. After four attempts, it worked, and I went back to the tree as I listened to the beautiful music.

As I closed in on being halfway finished, the cat jumped from a stack of totes onto my back. “For crying out loud! If you’re not going to hand me ornaments, get off my back!” I told her and she complied. (We all know that compliance had nothing to do with my warning.)

Meanwhile “The Nutcracker” played until its completion, which caused me concern for the well-being of the Josh Groban disc. I summoned the kid. “This CD won’t play for some reason. Can you check it out for me?” I explained what happened and that my second choice worked after I coaxed the player into submission.

He couldn’t get the CD player to work at all. “Oh, great!” I shrugged. He took the disc to the computer as I finished the tree.

Soon he was back in the living room. “Aunt Bo, there’s no easy way to say this so I’ll just tell you that your computer ate that CD.”

“So, I can’t listen to CDs in the living room and I can’t listen to CDs in the dining room, and now I can’t even listen to Josh Groban in the car? Is this what you’re telling me?”

“Ah, yeah,” he chuckled.

I found no amusement in this situation.

The good news is that the tree was finished and, so far, no cat intrusions have occurred.

There’s a boombox in the basement, and I guess I could haul it up the stairs to listen to tinsel tunes. I suppose it’s too late to ask Santa for a Bose CD player. We all know who would be writing that check!

In the spirit of Christmas, things could be much, much worse.

I sure hope the Bumpuses keep their dog inside!


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