Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Little Shiny Brite-ness

I am a raccoon all year round. I like shiny things. At Christmas time that raccoon goes completely off the chain. Candles! Sparkly lights! Glitter!

That's in direct conflict with my struggle with Christmas commercialism, over-consumption, and forced cheer. It's at odds with my inner Christmas Grump. There's your mixed metaphor for the day. Picture a raccoon (with glitter in its fur) duking it out fur and fangs with the Christmas Grump (she's wearing paint-stained sweat pants and a crabby look).

I'm never going to be the person who has a Christmas tree in every room of her house and garland stuck on anything that doesn't move. Okay, I was a little bit about that garland part for a few years. And you know what? It was EXHAUSTING. And dusty. I got over it.

Nevertheless, I and the inner glitter raccoon think there's always room for another bauble on the one tree we do have and I allow myself the fireplace mantel too. So every year I permit myself a few small Christmas things. For awhile it was the vintage bottle brush trees. I loved the kitschy, sparkly, funny things, and I could pick them up for a song at garage sales and off-season at flea markets. Then people got wise to their charms. They went from $5 to $10 dollars up to $20. Did I mention Glitter Raccoon is also a cheapskate? Last year I picked up my last one, a real doll of a number with bananas and oranges on it, for $22 and I was very lucky to find it at that price. This year, everything worth having was $50 and up. Way up.

This year my finds were a bit more modest, made to look way more modest by my hurried and badly focused photo above. Boy do I need a photography class. And a life outside of work that doesn't involve doing laundry and grilling cheese sandwiches. But I digress.

I was taken by the pale blue ornaments and their delicate leafy sprays. The bead garland is about six feet long, which doesn't cover much of the tree but it's pretty twined through the branches. I hope to find it some beaded siblings to join with in the future. It was just a few dollars for the bunch.

Do you have an inner Glitter Raccoon? Do you let it go every Christmas, or do you try to keep it under control? What holiday things do you collect?


  1. I like those sweet little vintage ornaments. I admire them in thrift stores, and then I walk away. Our tree is pretty full as is.

    What I do buy is an ornament each year for each of us. I try to find ones that have some significance to the person receiving it. I found a fortune cookie ornament for my daughter, who (this past year) lived for Panda Express, where she stuffs as many fortune cookies as she can into her pocket every time she visits. I found a vintage camper trailer ornament for Cane, who loves to drool over them and daydream about owning one.

    The kids love these, and it's one of only two traditions I've carried forward from my years when I did the equivalent of your garland. :-) (Advent calendar is the other.) They'll get to take theirs with them when they have their own homes and trees. Then I can go crazy buying vintage, glittery goodness for the tree--because I'll have all that real estate opening up on it!

    1. You have better self-discipline than I do! We have the same tradition of getting an ornament for each kid each year, and with four kids it racks up pretty quickly. But I still can't resist, and I'm rationalizing it in (sort of) the same way you are: when they take go out on their own, I'll still have plenty for my tree.

  2. Yep, I have an inner Glitter Raccoon, too. Lack of disposable income helps me reign it in, but if I ever win the lottery... look out! ;)

    I do have a tree in every room. It was a lifelong dream of mine, and I gradually collected trees I could use (some of them are small) until I finally had enough about 6 years ago. It *is* exhausting putting out all the decorations, but while it makes me tired, it also makes me happy, so I keep doing it.

    I also collect snowmen (LOTS of snowmen) and Santas. My friends and family all know how much I love snowmen, so they give them to me all the time and help my collection to grow. My mom also started giving me little Christmas village pieces last year... since apparently I don't have enough collections. ;)

    I love the ornaments you found, especially the blue ones!

    1. In past years we've had two trees-- the big one with all the old/special/fragile ornaments, and then a "kid" tree with homemade stuff. It was more to withstand the enthusiasm of two preschoolers than anything. Now that they can behave themselves, we are back to one tree. I like the "idea" of a tree in every room. But I know I don't have the time or energy. I'll just stop by and enjoy yours. ;)

  3. Ha! - Glitter raccoon! I love that. Yep, I have one of those in me too. I try to deny it just as much as I try to deny my girly-girl side but eeks out.