It’s all a pack of lies – the big, fat, juicy kind that drip with deceit and reek of fresh manure.
All this holiday season, we’ve led you to believe we’re living in some sort of magical Christmas Wonderland.
Oh, we have the posts and projects to prove it!
But words and pictures put together just so can paint a truly fantastical scene – a scene at dire odds with reality.
Because, you see, after such a year and such a move, with the improving and the painting and the day-jobbing, we sorta lost track of the plot.
We found ourselves in mid-December with a whole bunch of Christmas crafts…
…but no Christmas tree…
…and no Christmas lights outside…
In fact, the living room isn’t fully painted yet. Just look at my shame!
I’ve been working on this room, on-and-off for months (and it’s no secret that it’s been more “off” than “on” recently). The walls are painted, but not the trim, and I’ve only just started the laborious task of gel-staining the banisters.
It is a process, madam. But it is better than sanding and a damn sight better than paying someone thousands of dollars to do it for me! I will be posting about the process sometime in the new year, but see here, madam! This is the brush I used for all that gel-staining (well, it’s not the exact brush, but it is an exact copy).
Why so small, you ask? Well, I learned from trial and error that the only way to achieve realistic-looking results with gel-stain on these curved banisters was to use the absolute softest brush in my arsenal. And that brush is the softest.
Because I just bought the beauty below. It’s an artist’s brush from the artist section of Michaels, and it’s softer than a baby’s ass in a goose-feather snowstorm.
I look forward to completing my Herculean task a little easier after the holidays with this beautiful brush.
But it’s not just the bannisters, madam!
I haven’t yet built a proper TV stand! We’re still using boxes to prop up the speaker!
Oh, the shame of it all! Thank god for Covid, amirite? Otherwise, we’d be the laughingstock of the neighborhood.
Perhaps even the town!
And even with the stuff we did make, it’s not like we’re keeping up with it! Oh, woe is me! Remember our Christmas Countdown?
Here’s what it looked like on the day I posted it last month.
(the shame the shame the shame)
And here is what it looks like today, madam!
Oh, I’ll never be able to show my face in public!
We failed at Christmas this year, madam!
We failed, and we pretended!
Or did we?
Was there a Christmas tree in the manger when baby Jesus greeted the world?
Did the wise men bring lights and a generator and an electronic sequencer to make the lights flash in time with music?
Or was there something a little more important going on?
Something a little deeper than colorful lights and pine needles?
You know, we kinda missed Christmas this year, but we didn’t plan it that way.
Life just got in the way.
But does it matter that our tree is still boxed in the basement? (A basement that still looks like a FEMA disaster zone, I might add)
Does it matter that we’re one of the only houses on our street without any outward sign of Christmas cheer?
Does it matter that I didn’t get a single gift for Handan nor she for I?
Or does it matter more what is in our hearts right now?
That I have so much love for my wife and my son, that I am so proud of Handan and what she is accomplishing professionally, and that I am so proud of Baris as he navigates a stormy sea of college apps on his way to manhood.
That the greatest gift I could ask for, I already have – a family.
When all else is stripped away, is there anything more important?
So this year, we’ll be celebrating Christmas and reflecting on the truly important things in our life: our love, our happiness, and of course, our health.
We’ll celebrate with a small roast chicken, some Turkish rice pudding, a warm fire, and an 80s action movie played on a TV that sits on an unfinished stand.
It won’t look like Christmas, but it will be Christmas.
And it will be our best Christmas ever.
To everyone reading this –
Thank you! Before all else, thank you! Without your eyeballs on these pages, none of this would be possible. Handan and I can never thank you enough for sticking with us through the years.
We wish you all, first and foremost, a healthy holiday. Nothing is more important this year.
And we wish you all the happiness you can gather this Christmas, and may it spill over into the new year!
We look forward to entertaining and educating you for many years to come.
Greg, Handan, and Baris