Thursday, December 6, 2012

Whoops, There Goes Another One

There goes another week, that is. I'm convinced time is actually relative rather than ordered. When did it get to be December? Only two seconds ago, and yet the first week is almost in the bag.

True to my-life-is-nuts form, I promised a regular feature on the first Mondays of the month and blew it right away. Why?


I'll be the first to admit I struggle with Christmas. First, because I get grumpy when I see the first Christmas decor come out BEFORE Halloween at the local Stuff Mart. There oughta be a law. Second, because I prefer Thanksgiving, though that's probably because I prefer pie to cookies, and Thanksgiving just plain OWNS the pie category for holidays. Thirdly, I'm turned off by celebrations of overt consumption. Though I'm a fallen Lutheran (I turned in my casserole dish years ago), I still would rather have a Christmas that concentrates more on the meaningful aspects than the mandatory decking of halls and enforced donning of gay apparel.

Fa-la-la-la-la bawk bawk bawk BAWK!
Last weekend I got the tree put together and managed not to swear or break anything. We have a fake tree, which is a new development since I bought the house. We used to live in Michigan, which has acres of lovely and lush Christmas tree farms, and we had some real beauties when I lived there. In the particular corner of the Midwest that I now live, no one would dare give up a square inch of row crop land for trees, and real trees are shipped from Minnesota, two weeks old, already dry as tinder. It's sad and expensive and fake seemed the lesser evil. I will say it's nice not to have to remember to water, and nice not to have to untangle strands of lights every year.

I've thrown up my vintage bottle brush trees on the mantel, shown above. The little boys think the name "bottle brush" is just hilarious. I gathered them one by one over the last ten years, but I think they've now become too expensive for my taste. It's a collection that doesn't need to get any bigger though. I mix truly old Christmas stuff freely with stuff I call "oldish" (like the ornaments that are mixed in with the trees), meaning things made to look vintage but really aren't. At Christmas time people seem to hunger for a past maybe even they can't claim, so it's easy to find Christmas decorations that fit in with the genuinely vintage.

Last year I made the kids homemade Christmas ornaments from craft leftovers I had laying around the house:

I'll probably do the same this year, but I may have taxed the limit of my skills. I'm out of ideas. And time. Still, I like the idea better than buying LPC (the family acronym for Little Plastic Crap).

This weekend is for cookies, gift wrapping, and shipping the annual box off to my sister in Atlanta. Probably a little music to get me in the mood too. At Christmas I listen to music of extremes, like the  Missa Puer Natus est Nobis from the 16th century, and something like Otis Redding.

Are you ready for the holidays? Are you a relaxed or rushed holiday partier? A last minute shopper or an all year planner? However you do it and whatever you celebrate, have a great December!


  1. You can be the first as long as I can be the second to admit to Christmas struggle. Same crankiness with retailers, same preference for Thanksgiving, same impatience with the focus on materialism and superficial stuff. (And I'm a lapsed Catholic rather than Lutheran, but that's almost the same thing.) There may have been some back-patting in the house last weekend because the tree was put up with no profanity this year. ;)

    I love your little birds. And those bottlebrush trees. And Otis Redding. How could Christmas not be OK if you've got all those things? Wishing you a good one...

    1. Thanks Rita. I wish your family a blessed (and peaceful) Christmas too!

  2. I love the bottle brush trees and animals! Am I ready? No. Have to finish stuffing grandson's stocking so I can mail to Florida. :( Am I relaxed? Maybe a tad too laid back given answer to 1st question! Tree is up...wanted a "Happy" tree this year as last year was so difficult as it was the first without son & grandson. Threw a Christmas Ornament Yankee Swap for friends & relatives on the fly and everybody brought worked and was fun. I agree with remembering the real reason for Christmas and that keeps me pretty grounded. I hope you have a joyful Christmas season!