Fwd: Thank You's for Tree Trimming
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2010 08:57:12 -0800 (PST)
This is the thank you message I sent today following our Christmas tree 
trimming party yesterday. I was on my feet from 2-7 and exhausted but this is 
the kind of event that my extended family used to have, though larger. We had 
about 30 people which is about as many as I think can be coordinated and still 
feel intimate.

We have a 7 foot tall tree with pictures of members from pre-move-in to the 
present and ornaments that have been contributed or purchased at a thrift shop.

I edited this a bit for clarification.


Thanks to many, many people we have another elegant tree. 

If you have ornaments to contribute, please hang them on the tree. If you have 
pictures, you can hang them or put them in my cubby — I'll put a heavy paper 
backing on them and a string so they are sturdy. I trim around the edges to 
make an interesting shape and focus on the faces. We need updates plus pictures 
of anyone who hasn't hung a picture before.

The pictures are best if they are in the 2-3" range. Larger pictures obscure 

The tree is on a timer -- turn on at 5 and off at 11. The lights are energy 
efficient and safety tested. If you unplug the timer please let me know because 
it needs to be reset to the correct time again.


Bruce, Robbin, and Matthew mastered the fabulous tree selection and erection 
after a treasure hunt for the base. 

Abe and Bruce did the first mounting of the lights, along with another 
emergency correction of tree orientation to vertical rather than leaning, and 
Carol M applied her height and family tradition to the second wave of arranging 
the lights. 

Carrie showed up with kitchen supplies. Betsy made hot chocolate.

Janet held fast at the popcorn and cranberry stringing table. It's not an easy 
task to achieve those strings as both popcorn and cranberries are delicate so 
the children need help. Needle waving protection is an added responsibility. 
The children all took a turn. I saw Carolyn, Shira, Franklin, Gretchen, Louie 
working away. Asif and his friend worked long and hard. Betsy strung them all 
on the tree.

Joan showed up with all the supplies for paper chains and set up shop. Carolyn, 
Shira, and Natalie worked avidly and hung the chains on the balcony with red 
bows. (Matt, Asif, Roger, and Dzhoy have outgrown the great chain competition, 
one year completing two grocery bags more than we were able to find a place to 

All the children put on the ornaments, including the pictures, very 
independently this year. The impulse was to identify each person in a picture 
before it could go on the tree so the pictures were pretty plowed through 
before they were hung, but they all made it.

An idea that went over like a lead balloon two years ago was for each child 
identifying a favorite ornament. That ornament is then tagged with their name 
so only they can put it on the tree. This year it was all the rage — the 6-9 
year-olds had grown into it and the preteens weren't there to disparage it. So 
the white tags you see with names are the chosen ornaments.

The 1500 piece Coke Santa puzzle made headway with Jean, Jennifer, and Cait 
working steadily.

The Dominoes Pizza Caper worked very well. Delicious pizza delivered on time, 
hot, and correct. One vegan slice was fortunately left waiting for Mark who 
arrived late to do his laundry.

Kathy started the garland placing on the mantle — Joan procured 25 feet of 
greens. MJ, Kathy, and Eleanor will do more decorating of the room.

When all was done, Anna led singing around the tree. It was nice to see the age 
6-9 cluster coming into their own requesting songs and holding songbooks. The 
tree was very happy. Everyone was very happy.

The cleaners were much appreciated — Kathy and Betsy working tirelessly. Jean, 
Jennifer, others I'm sure. (I was pretty tired by then.)

Bob and Ali showed wonderful Pixar animations to end the day. 

It was lovely. Many thanks to all.
Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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