Every post between now and the end of the year, I’ll be highlighting a charity at the start of every post. NONE of these charities have asked me to do so; they are charities I have been touched by or believe in/donate to myself. I’ll tell you a little about the charity, why I support it and a link.
Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc. (AAC), is New England’s first and largest AIDS service organization. AAC’s mission is to stop the epidemic and related health inequities by eliminating new infections, maximizing healthier outcomes of those infected and at risk, and attacking the root causes of HIV/AIDS. AAC accomplishes this mission by providing services for men, women, and children living with AIDS and HIV; educating the public and health professionals about how to prevent HIV transmission in accordance with harm reduction principles; and advocating for fair and effective AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. AAC also provides targeted outreach to those most vulnerable to HIV infection. In 2010, AAC merged with Cambridge Cares About AIDS to more efficiently deliver AIDS services in the Greater Boston area and expand its capacity for social justice work aimed at reducing the disparities among those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. AAC runs the only statewide AIDS/STD Hotline (1-800-235-2331) and Hepatitis Hotline (1-888-443-4372). All Hotlines offer multilingual support. Free and confidential rapid HIV testing and counseling, and clean needle exchange is also available.
I was first involved with AAC via their secondhand store, Boomerangs. As a broke college student, I was always on the look-out for a bargain, and I’ve been shopping at them long enough to have lasted through the location change from downtown Boston to Jamaica Plain. I’ve bought many a book or cd and the occasional piece of furniture from them. When it came time for me to donate items, they were always my first choice. Boomerangs is staffed by volunteers and profits go to the AAC.
I have also done their annual walk in June with Ellie, to raise money (I couldn’t find the photo, though–I think it may have been only on a phone that has since died). Sadly, our visits back haven’t been timed such that I’ve been able to do it since 2009, but maybe I can overlap a trip in 2012 with the walk.
Once Upon a Time we put up our tree. It was a cheap plastic tree from Carrefour, but it had served us loyally in 2010, and we expected to enjoy its lovely presence in our home again in 2011 (even though we were originally leaving on the 19th–Rhi and I, and the 24th-Ravi and Ellie).
We adorned its branches with lights, with garlands and with ornaments. We placed the angel that my mother had crafted with love and skill as the crowning piece.
We played Christmas music, and introduced Elanor to the joys of the Nutcracker ballet (albeit the 90’s one with Macauley Caulkin because it has narration).
I tortured the newborn by dressing her in a Christmas Stocking and hat and attempted to take photographs of her.
We even managed, after many attempts and several less than seasonally appropriate bribes and/or threats on my part against various family members to take what would have been our Christmas Card photo in front of our much adored tree. I am not doing a widespread holiday card this year…maybe a few for special people, depending on if I get around to ordering them. Just doesn’t feel like its worth the effort as I wouldn’t be able to mail them until 2012.
We lovingly decorated our home’s mantlepiece and walls with decorations, largely made by Miss Elanor Athena…
Then….the cats noticed it.
The opening salvos were made by the cats when they knocked it over twice and chewed on the (fake) needles.
The tree was not about to take that sort of insult laying down (because I’d already stood it back up and rehung the decorations) and retaliated with digestive distress.
Unfortunately, the vomiting seemed to only enrage the cats, and it was a blood bath after that. Daily attacks. Attacks from beneath, from beside, from across the room.
Now, the tree looks like this
Every so often one of us will stand it up, but it has been a giant ball of FAIL.
I have many suggestions as to how to have a less destructive Christmas next year, assuming the tree doesn’t light itself on fire to protest the unabated torture it has endured for the last few weeks.
Thus ends the sad saga of our once happy Christmas Tree.
Also, for your holiday enjoyment-a vlog by Ellie (with subtitles) about the tree, xmas, and all manner of topics.