We’ve gotten the Christmas tree all set up! 

It was raining when I brought in the Christmas tree and decorations from the garage. Yes, raining. The first thing I unboxed was the tree, which Namine assembled.

The base has three parts, and the tree itself also has three parts. Namine had to climb into her wheelchair to put the second segment in place. She had to kind of lean into the tree to do it, too. She wasn’t tall enough to reach for the third segment, so I picked her up.

When I first set up the voice-activated light in Namine’s room, I did so with two smart plugs: one for her lamp, the other for her moon light, which hangs from her ceiling. The lamp is still plugged into its smart plug, but I moved the other plug into the living room.

I reconfigured the smart plug in the living room so its name is “Christmas Tree,” and plugged the tree into it. Now the tree’s lights are voice-activated, as Namine demonstrates:

While Namine and I were setting up the tree, Jessica was in the kitchen preparing our snacks. It’s an Eiche family tradition to make a bunch of snacks for while we decorate the apartment: pigs in a blanket, barbecue weenies and meatballs, Asian meatballs, roasted nuts, cheese, crackers, and rumaki.

After getting our tree all set up — we’d left the lights on from last year — it was time to decorate. Drawing from the experience of past years, Namine opted to remain out of her wheelchair and simply use her step stool to reach higher up on the tree.

Namine explained to me that if she stayed in her wheelchair, she would have to ask to be handed ornaments, whereas on the floor she could do it herself. (She also ran the risk of running things over in her chair, especially given the size of it.) Since she’s taller, she can still reach about halfway up the tree with the aid of her stool. And I didn’t mind helping to decorate the top half.

The very last thing to do was put the angel on top of the tree. I picked Namine up while Namine held onto the angel. Jessica tilted the tree forward so Namine could reach the top of the tree.

Of course, we couldn’t forget the Advent wreath. Santa’s milk bottle and cookie plate are ready for Christmas Eve, too.