Ready For December


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When Carter was little I used her as my excuse for wanting to have a fully Christmased out house the month of December. What could be more magical than living in a house that fully embraced the magic of Christmas? As the years went on and the child got older I had to own that I was the one who wanted the full Christmas experience. In fact, both Carter and Russ say they don’t like it.


What I think they don’t like is the work of getting the boxes out of the attic and helping put the tree together. That is all they have to do. I do all the actual decorating and without complaint because then I get it done exactly the way I want.


This year I was tracking how much work it is by how many steps I take while doing it. Sadly it is not that much actual exercise. I think that I inadvertently saved myself a lot of steps this year by employing a bucket to carry a dozen or more ornaments at a time up the twelve-foot ladder when I was decorating the top half of the tree. Standing in one place on the ladder and hanging each glass ball, felt snowman or glittery tree is virtually no work out.


The only real bad part about decorating this year is that I found I had to wear my reading glasses almost the whole time so I could see how to put the hanger on the string of each ornament. Even after every room was decked and sparkle filled the house I was under10,000 steps each day from decorating.


It may be no comfort for my family that I am ready to entertain at the drop of a hat all month, but for me this makes December the happiest month of the year. Carter asked me today if we were having a Boxing Day party and when I told her no since she had a basketball tournament she asked if I still make the boxing day Mac and cheese. I think she doesn’t care a lick about the party, but just wants me to cook for her.


The cooking will come soon enough. As will the shopping and the wrapping and the fa, la, la. I can hardly wait.

It’s Red & Green Friday at Our House

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To so many Americans today is known as black Friday, the day that stores generally go in the black for the year because the Christmas Holiday shopping is what their business lives for. Not from me though. I am not one to rush out to stores when every one else is there. I am that demanding kind of shopper who needs the sole attention of a great sales associate at the least, but really more like a senior manager to wait on me. Knowing that today is not the day to get superior customer service I save today to start my Christmas decorating.


Actually we spent the better part of the day at the farm, visiting with my cousins and their families. As is their tradition, my cousin Brooks and the other men of the family spend the afternoon of Black Friday at the Country Club Lanes, bowling. This started many years ago as a way for the guys to get away from the family after so much togetherness on Thanksgiving and has morphed into, “Dads taking the kids bowling,” so the Moms could get a rest day. My favorite part of it is that they go to “Country Club Lanes.” There is nothing country club about bowling, but for Danville it might be as uptown as things can get.


After my getting to have a good visit with my Uncle Wilson and Russ taking Shay on a big time farm walk we got in the car for the ride home to Santa town. Carter was dreading the only part of decorating she has to do, taking the boxes out of the attic.


Since it was too late to start on the tree I began the “House” decorations. I first have to remove the ‘Non-Christmas” nick-knacks that take up space on top of coffee tables and chests so make room for the various Christmas vignettes. As I was doing this today I noticed that all my regular rooms are decorated in a form of green or red so that when I make the switch from civilian to holiday it all fits together.


I have to say that I did not decorate my house with Christmas in mind. I think that I subconsciously picked color schemes that would “Holiday-up” well. Of course a red entry hall and a red dining room scream Christmas, but most of the year it is not the feeling I get from those rooms.


When I really noticed that I had an underlying Christmas subtext was when I was decorating the kitchen and noticed that even Shay Shay’s bed was a green and white ticking. Now it looks springy most of the year, but it sure does say, “Hey Santa, I’ve been a really good dog,” during the holidays. Maybe this explains why I don’t have any orange rooms. Nothing feels less Christmassy that an orange room no matter how much glitter you throw up it.


So happy red and green Friday. Black may be a good word when you are talking about ledgers, but as far as I’m concerned it is not a very Christmassy color.

It’s Not Black Friday at Our House



The only good news about not being at the farm for Thanksgiving is that I was able to spend today getting Christmas thrown up at my house today.  It actually is a great thing since the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a week shorter this year.


I’m a Christmas nut.  All the public rooms of our house get decorated.  Every year I add something major to the decorating.  I spent the whole year making needlepoint Christmas ornaments.  My goal was to make a dozen.  I slightly exceeded my own self-imposed target by just a little.  When the last of them get back from the fabricator I will have made 32, only a 266% increase.  Don’t let anyone ever tell you I am not an over achiever.  Let’s not talk about what I did not get done this year because I was needle pointing.


Since I have a fourteen foot Christmas tree with ornaments in the multi thousands I decided that my needlepoint needed it’s own tree.  The problem is that I really do not have a place for another tree.  So I decided to run garland around the entrance to the living room and hang the needlepoint there.  I like it, but I certainly have a lot more space to fill since I did garland on both sides of the entrance.  I guess that I need to keep up my stitching pace if I am going to be satisfied with that décor next Christmas.


Russ felt well enough today to help take the boxes and the tree out of the attic.  I have created a child who says she hates Christmas because she dislikes helping get all the decorations out of its off-season storage.  Not that she has to do any of the decorating work with the exception of helping put the tree together.  Yes, we have an artificial tree.   It became mandatory when our real fourteen-foot tree fell over one year and crushed many of my beloved ornaments.


I stayed holed up in my sweats hanging stockings and creating Christmas villages under glass.  The tree is up with all its 30,000 lights and the red cranberry garland.  Tomorrow I will decorate the tree and the house will be done.  It was no black Friday for me.  It is red and green Friday at our house!