I've been decking halls like a mad woman here ;) Christmas Crazy! A little earlier than I usually decorate but what the heck. The spirit was upon me and now it is done. Maybe by New Year's we will be throughly sick and tired of it but I don't care. Right now, I'm loving it.
I actually put the tree up last. It's the hardest part and normally I would do that first while I had lots of energy and creative spark. But for some reason, this year it waited until the end of the day.
First up were the outside lights. While it isn't difficult to put up the outside lights there is a lot of upping an downing with the ladder. I was smart enough to wind each string of lights from last year around a large piece of cardboard so that nothing was tangled! Yay! AND likewise had the brains to leave the outdoor command hooks up so it was simply a matter of literally feeding the line into those hooks along the eaves and winding them around posts in the front. DONE! AND I only smacked my head on the underside of the outside light fixture once this year. An improvement over previous years. Turned out pretty good I think. They always look best at night. During the day, meh.
This venture went so well that I was feeling encouraged and confident. Consequently, most of the inside decor went up very quickly with relatively little fussing. Just boom, there you go, pink reindeer, train, snowmen. Done and off the list!
"What?" I hear you say, "Pink reindeer". Yes. Hot Pink sparkly Reindeer with fur collars. I absolutely adore them. If you don't care for them, I suggest that you do not buy any. Mine were actually a gift from my sister which makes them even more dear (deer!) to me. Non-traditional perhaps, but still an important part of my Christmas decor. The sleigh I found on a clearance rack somewhere. The porportions felt right to go with the reindeer and then of course, I had to fill the sleigh will colour. LOTS of colour.
The two snowmen standing by the lantern filled with a Christmas tree were also gifts. Two different people thought highly enough of me to send me those adorable snowmen. I sold most of my enormous snowman collection at our yard sale before we moved here but I just couldn't bear to part with those two. They greet visitors on the table in the front hall. Tim bought me the Tree filled lantern this year, for absolutely no reason at all. And I think it is the perfect trio.
The train and the silver tree are on the coffee table in the living room. There is also now a pretty little glass dish filled with peppermints on that table. The train used to have a track so that it could actually chug it's way around whatever thing it was set up for but somewhere along the line, the tracks disappeared. The train however remains and we can imagine tracks. Back in Colorado I set the train AND tracks up under the living room tree (that was the house of many christmas trees). And it was a rare occasion when the train could run because usually there was a cat laying across the tracks. And even if you went ahead and turned the train on, it could only go as far as the cat because he wasn't moving for anything. Even a train.
The sweet embroidered 'Christmas is Love' sign was also a gift from friends way way way back in Connecticut. I have kept it and displayed it every single year since then. It's a hand made gift for one thing and those are always the very best gifts. It's a beautiful Christmas reminder I think, of what Christmas is really all about. And of course it always makes me think of those friends when I set it out.
The two little snowmen in front of the basket of pinecones, well Tim put those in my stocking our first year here to help me start to rebuild my snowman collection. He knew how hard it was for me to get rid of them before. Isn't that sweet? And speaking of stocking, ours are not hanging by the chimney with care, because we don't have a chimney. Instead, they are hanging from the drawer handles of a very large display cabinet. It's called creative problem solving. It may not make a pretty rhyme but it works.
So then I moved on to the biggest job. The tree. Putting it together isn't difficult. It's only three pieces and the stand. Largest on the bottom, middlest and then smalleset on top. Easy peasy. The tricky part is connecting all the various plugs and electric lines properly. It isn't as simple as, well certainly it wasn't as simple as I anticipated. Last year it took two of us and quite some time and experimenting to figure it out. So, when I undecorated last year, I was clever enough to tied different coloured ribbons on all of the pieces that go together. So orange to orange, pink to pink, blue to blue, etc. This year putting it together was a BREEZE!
The ornaments take awhile. I really take the time to think about the colour balance and ornament placement. Sometimes I have to re-arrange and re-re-arrange a few pieces before I'm satisfied. My favourite addition this year was an accident. When I bought the decorations for the museum, I bought two different sizes of snowflakes. I didn't realize that the larger of them was LOADED with glitter until I started actually decorating. Since I had a strict No Glitter constraint to work within, I subtracted that price from the receipt I presented and brought them home wondering what on earth I would do with them. Well they ended up going on my tree and I think they look great there!
The .....okay lets call it garland.....is strips of netting. Like what a bridal veil is made of. The past two years I did this twist and poke thing over and over,round and round the tree so that it filled all of the empty spots. However, by the time I got to putting the garland on, it was dark out, it was late, it was after dinner and I had been decorating all day and I was tired. I ended up just winding the netting around the tree. When I stepped back looked at it and said to myself, "it's a little weird, but then so am I" and decided that if I didn't like it the next day, I would change it. Turns out, I do like it. It reminds me of cotton candy. Although someone else told me it looked like a spider web. I don't care. I like it and it's staying this way, at least this year.
So there is is folks, one more thing off the Christmas Gotta-Do list. I think I'm keeping up pretty well. You know, every year, just before the season starts, I panic a little bit thinkinng about everything that has to be done in a very short period of time. And yet, somehow, it always gets done. Why on earth do I fret about it every single time? You'd think I would learn.
On to the next thing on the list!
How are your Christmas preparations coming along?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.