Posts Tagged ‘tree’

We did not decorate much this year.  After grandson/son #2 (Army Guy) went off to the Army, the boys moved bedrooms and I am left with the extra bedroom on the main floor.  It will eventually be my workroom, but right now is just a mess.  The first thing I did though, was move grandson/sons #3 (JCountry) piano out to the dining room. 

We have an L shaped main floor, with 1/4 of that square (that’s not an L) being that bedroom, now workroom.  The other parts of the L are the kitchen, the dining area, a tv, a couch collection (my mother likes to replace her furniture and we have inherited quite a few extra pieces), and a computer area.  Trust me, this is NOT a big house.

Which I really realized when it was time to put up the tree.  There just isn’t anywhere to put a Christmas tree.  Heck, there’s a comfy rocking love seat in the middle of the floor.  I did consider hanging it (the tree, not the couch) but there was no room for that either. 

I took my trusty Menard’s rebate and got a 24″ tree and a can of spray snow (Any tree I have is having snow on it.) and I went to Hobby Lobby, and for 50% off, I bought a fake garland (which also now has snow on it) and a cloth runner to protect the ancient piano from the fake snow.

In our first house we had a fireplace and I did this every year on the mantle, only with real boughs and fake snow and shiny ornaments and (when we were in the room) lit candles.  Now, I have two plastic battery candles.

It’s in a pinch.  The guys are older now and not so excited about going into the attic for decorations.  I just wanted something up.   I used to decorate every square inch but this house put a stop to that.  I really need to declutter more; which I have been doing for the last seven years actually and still have more to go.

I have another reason for decorating.  On my facebook (http://SAVanVleck.Wordpress.com) a couple of people have mentioned not enjoying Christmas because they have lost a loved one. 

I know the feeling.  When my brother died, I just wasn’t sure I would ever enjoy the holidays again.  Then, Dad died and I was left with this horrible guilt because we thought we were doing him a favor by taking down the tree before we left their house after Christmas.  He got up and was not happy.  He wanted to look at it for more time.  That was his last Christmas.

So, what I tell people and firmly believe now, is do not deprive yourself because you feel lonely, or sad, or guilty or whatever.  My brother and father were both big on Christmas and, by decorating, it is more a reminder of that joy and a tribute to the ones you love who loved the holidays.

Happy Holidays to everyone.

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I still have my tree up, both on my banner and in my front room.  I’m enjoying both yet.  As far as the banner, I have to find something to replace it.  I see that banner most every day and I want it to be interesting, and I need color in my morning. I was going to put up the picture of my Hermione wand, Master’s Daughter gave me, but a wand is a private thing and it is not very colorful, so I did not think it would be interesting, even though I love it.  And, I cannot wait to get the tree down and the front room rearranged for my Hogwarts trunk stuff.   


The tree, at home, will come down after this coming weekend.  I wanted Gaffer to enjoy it and he is leaving for Santa Fe then.  Right now, the bunny is going with him.  We shall see!  He is unofficially engaged now and I dearly love his intended.  She is so sweet and bubbly and treats his brothers and us just great.  She also has a beautiful singing voice.


Mom is home from the hospital.  That was quite an adventure.  First was three days in the hospital with walking and double pneumonia and an unknown “thing” in her lungs.  Then, they put her in a rehabilitation place.  About the third day, I told her that they were not holding her prisoner and she could walk out if she wanted.  Then, they told us that Medicare might not pay if she did that.  Somehow, yesterday, I pointed out a few things I thought they did wrong, like their doctor never saw her and all of the sudden, she was on her way home.  I do not like her being alone though.


Pills get messed up, etc.  But, that’s the way it is. 

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Two things have arrived in southern Indiana today.  One is snow and the other is germs.  The snow is barely a dusting but the germ is pretty strong.


Here I sit, swollen throat, fever, ear aches, sneezing, and blowing; piled under six layers of blankets.  And, over there, in that other room, the kitchen, sit the ingredients to make four dozen plus cookies for the choir fund raiser that is due Thursday.


I applaud the choir for not selling overpriced tiny pies, or junk stuff, so I thought this was a great idea.  I just hope this bug is gone tomorrow morning, so I can bring in my contribution. 


I chose to make cream wafer cookies because they are bright and cheery and make a large amount of cookies, and brown sugar oatmeal cookies because they are only slightly healthier. 


Then, there is the half decorated tree staring at me.  The male members of the house have basically taken care of the tree for the last two years.  This means that I no longer have a Rubbermaid for each: glass ornaments, toy ornaments, lights, home decorations and Santas.  I like Santas.  But, this year as I open every Rubbermaid, I am finding everything in every one, so today I was supposed to just sort it all out and get finished decorating.  Not going to happen!


Bugs have their own plans and this one attacked last night.  Okay, I admit to overkill but I do not have a reliable thermometer and, as I could not get warm and was shivering in two sweaters, I took my temperature last night—three times.  I found three different thermometers but I don’t think they worked.  Any of them! 


So, it’s back under the covers for me and perhaps a nap.  Hope you are well.

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It is June, so you ask, why is she writing about Christmas stuff?  Because she is memory deficient and she a/k/a me, would have to write this now anyway and then save it in her Blog and then probably forget to publish it in December.  Besides, Christmas in June is nothing new.

I have made several errors in my life. (Quit laughing, Master’s Daughter) Okay, more than a few. One was having the lack of judgment to be married, for a short time, to a man my daughter’s fondly refer to as Hitler. My mother says he is the only person, on this earth, that she hates and she has to ask forgiveness for that when she gets to the Pearly gates.  I say, Hate him, Mom. He deserves it. 

Hitler had many horrible traits, which explains why we called him Hitler. Those traits are best left forgotten. He did have a few redeeming traits and one was a love of all things Christmas, including the Christmas tree, which he did not want taken down until the fire department showed up in June and said, “You have to take this fire hazard down.” It was a real tree and you can only water them for so long before they become tinder.

The perfect Christmas dinner, for Hitler, meant that the adults drover around town most of the day on Christmas Eve and picked up everyone’s favorite food from restaurants. With gas prices now, it would be a very expensive dinner. Since, his kids had a “traditional” dinner with his ex, and mine had one the next day at Grandma’s house, it was really a fun thing to do. The kids all loved it and it was their tradition. Which goes to prove that anything can be a tradition. It just needs to suit your lifestyle and family for it to last and be fun.

Christmas holidays have always been a big thing in my life.  Mom  decorated the perfect tree, I’m really thinking she was the original Martha Stewart, the cards always hung straight and filled the walls (remember when you were a kid and your self-worth was based on how many cards you got? “I got twenty valentines. How many did you get?”) Mom and Dad would work to make the house, inside and out, perfection. There were yard decorations to be hung and lighted, window decorations, indoor decorations and the tree.

One of my fondest memories of my brother was the year he taught me how to wrap a present. David may have had a touch of the Compulsive gene, because you never saw such a job of wrapping in your life. Corners were pressed and creased. I’m sure you could have bounced a quarter off that box. But, he was also artistic and they were beautiful when he was done. He loved Christmas too.

Dad, my brother and I would hunt for the perfect living tree. It seems like there was a lot more snow then, so it was snowing when we went and you could see your breath as you spoke. It went on top of our station wagon and, when we got home, if it wasn’t perfect, dad would work to make it so. Branches were actually added to our tree, if I remember right. I know it had to have the “bad” side to the corner and then dad and David put the lights on, while the mom directed them.

What was I doing while this went on? I was in the kitchen eating a whole box of chocolate covered sugar wafers. At eight, this is not a good thing to do on Christmas eve. You miss decorating the tree because you are heaving into the toilet. You would think this incident might have led to anorexia. Trust me, it didn’t.

Mom may have been the first person in the modern world to use actual toys on the tree. She had all the traditional glass baubles and lights, but she would also hang trinkets. These included fancy dangly earrings, or strings of beads she had made, as well as little stuffed animals and dolls. People would come to our house and marvel at her tree.

While recovering from surgery,  in 2007, I relinquished a lot of the traditions that, I am now learning, really robbed the fun of Christmas. I relinquished that little compulsive side of me who had to do the tree just right. I sat on the couch and watched the men decorate the tree. I laughed with them and Christmas was all the more special for the love that went on that tree, that year. It wasn’t nearly done, but the memories are even more rich, and that’s what Christmas is about.

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