But where would a Mulligan Christmas be without a Tree? The possibility doesn't bear thinking about!
So, with Charlotte on the other side of the world, it was left to Jayne, Sarah and I to keep up the traditions!
So, Saturday morning, off down to the local yard where Xmas trees escaped from the Wairarapa are herded together, corralled and fobbed off onto the unsuspecting.
Sarah and Jayne went choosing while I tried to persuade the bank to extend us a fifteenth mortgage to pay for it. They succeeded, and, eventually, so did I.
We eventually managed to bring it home, washed it, hung it out to dry, try various buckets and crocks until we found a good fit, and then: there it was! Resplendent in all it's glory, and sheeding needles faster than Cleopatra.
Hunt the decorations was the next order of business, which brought to light Sarah and Craig's collection, including twinkle lights for outside. "Yeeha!" cried Jayne. "We can do that!"
So they did.
It took a lot of testing and positioning, a broken chair, and bemused cats, but they did it!
Desiree enjoyed the challenge and was impressed with the result.
And that left the Tree.
It had to dry, because it had been washed. In fact, it wasn't until Sunday morning that the decorating finally began, and that meant a period of sorting and sifting, collecting, straightening, untangling, hiding from Dad, and judicious placements.
It all came together, as it always does.
The finished product!