12 Days of Christmas – Decorations

Everything is so shiny and sparkly this time of year.  From twinkling lights to glitter galore homes are transformed into a wonderland.  And through the years I have seen so many things that drew my attention.

As a child we would pile in the car and drive through town sometime during the week of Christmas to look at all the light displays people had put up on their houses.  I can remember through the years many familiar houses I would always anticipate seeing the latest creations they had done.  From the simplistic glow of all white lights to a collection of rainbow colors, it all would dazzle the eyes.

Indoors I recall a heavy cardboard fireplace we would assemble every year to hang our stockings on.  It even had a motor and light that simulated the fires glow.  Sadly it only held up for so many years before the cardboard began to degrade.

There was the anticipation of seeing my Gma’s holiday village display when we visited our grandparents.  It was a hand-made village created by my great-grandmother.  The tree would be a work in progress for days until the tinsel had all been placed one strand at a time, one branch at a time, bottom to top.  It took a long time but it was so beautiful when it was done.  And the Christmas cards that would line the doorways and mirror of our living room.

Today the decorations are minimal compared to when I grew up.  The tree is still the focal point.  There are the bells on the door, the vinyl clings on the windows and some stand alone decorations – my favorite being a snowman with a lamppost a friend gave me.  I still at 50 years old delight in seeing the light displays in the neighborhood and all over town.

What are some of your favorite decorations to see this time of year?  What is a must in your home to add sparkle to the holiday?

Day 89 – 100 Days of Happiness

Hard to believe today is only 2 weeks until Christmas.  Growing up we would start to decorate after Thanksgiving.  We had a big 7 or 8 ft artificial tree that would take us days to decorate.  The lights and ornaments were easy… it was the individual placement of the tinsel one strand at a time draped on one side of the branch all the way around to the other side.  I recall as kids me and my sister would get bored with decorating and Dad would end up doing a majority of it.  I am still not sure how Mom got out of doing much decorating.

Later on when I got married there was a new tradition to follow.  Since my then husband had his birthday on the 11th it was always his family’s way of making his birthday special by putting the tree up and decorating it that day.  We followed that for many years.  Now it is whenever my boyfriend has the day off.  Last year it was hard to get a time to get everyone together.  This year we have the tree up and lights on only waiting on the decorating until my daughter can get here to help.

Once the tree gets up I get a lot more into the spirit.  I now have Christmas music playing while I write this and the lights on the tree flash.  I have decided what to do with my Christmas card and hope to have most of them out by the end of the week.  I like the put letters or at least short notes in most of them.  Nothing better than getting a little good news in a letter instead of another bill showing up in the mail.

So tonight I sit in the wonder of the Christmas spirit… I love this time of year.  Not real wild about the crowds shopping, but the pretty decorations, the giving, the family together, the kids joy… it really is a magical time of year.  Do you have your tree up yet and does it take long to decorate it?