We have the trees decorated, thanks almost entirely to bunny_hugger using a couple minutes of trimming as a reward for getting through a bunch of exams that need grading, because it is the finals-grading time of year and she needs reasons to not just throw all the exams in the composter and start walking, vaguely southward, never to be heard from again. I've been dealing with a particularly nasty problem where the file that governs a whole project at work got corrupted and I think I've only just gotten it reconstructed so I haven't been as merry as I ought to be. Fortunately, as Christmas decorating goes, bunny_hugger is just this far from being a Rankin/Bass magical creature, and can bring beauty with what looks like an effortless touch.
The thing we didn't expect was that our tree would crackle. Have you ever heard a tree crackling? (At a guess, I'm supposing moxie_man and c_eagle have, but I mean the rest of you.) My first guess was that it was just one of the pine cones falling from it, and there were fallen pine cones, but the noise continued. Our next guess was something alive inside the tree, possibly a mouse (though we thought briefly of a bat, even though that's crazy). But close examination, with a flashlight, suggested that if it were a small creature, it was a ferociously incompetent one, because any sane creature would have hushed up or run out of the tree by that point.
An Internet search turned up the usual drips, like, one Yahoo Answer that this was a sign the tree was on fire. But there were enough people asking about their trees making noises that this appears to just be a normal part of life for some trees in some conditions. Why is filled with awry speculations, although the least implausible to me is that the transition from cold outdoors to warm indoors make the tree's shape alter a little and the branches and bark scrape themselves as they do. Since the crackling ended within about 48 hours we're going to chalk this up to the world being a surprisingly strange place.
Trivia: After 1327 a bailiff was appointed with the right to pursue criminals over the London Bridge, although it was jurisdictionally difficult to do so until 1550. Source: Old London Bridge: The Story Of The Longest Inhabited Bridge In Europe, Patricia Pierce.
Currently Reading: Squaring The Circle: The War Between Hobbes and Wallis, Douglas M Jesseph.