Christmas Decoration Rules…….Really?

 

Christmas begins early. The week before Thanksgiving, boxes are carried down from the attic. Boxes and more boxes filled with generations of memories. My sister once told me “You never can decorate a Christmas tree right. Why is your garland going up and down when it is obviously needs to be wrapped in circles around the tree?”
Where are the rules to decorating a Christmas tree? No two homes decorated for the holidays look alike.
My neighbor in Colonial springs has a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, but she has not one set of Christmas lights on the tree. Red ribbons, red ornament balls, and red bows fill each branch of the tree.
There is a Christmas tree on the south side that has the old fashion bubble lights. More than one tree in Greenwood has miniature blinking lights. There is a tree in Villa Heights with only blue lights. In Oak Meadow there is a house with the larger lights that do not blink at all.
My cousin in New Mexico has a train that runs underneath his Christmas Tree. He placed plywood beneath the Christmas tree skirt. When the Christmas lights are on the train runs continually around and around underneath the tree. He must position each wrapped gift just so or it might derail the train.
In my parents’ home you will find a traditional tree trimmed with pretty heirloom ornaments. Children’s ornaments made at school or church decorates the tree. Saving these treasures to display each year shows visitors how special and wonderful their artwork is to the entire family.
I decorate for the holidays in a haphazard way. I have no master plan when it comes to the Christmas tree. I set a day for family gathering and make it an event. I serve an informal supper and have a tree-trimming party. It is a wonderful way to get some holiday decorating accomplished and have fun at the same time. I keep a pot of soup on the stove and give each one of my nephew’s two boxes of ornaments. We don’t get to eat until the tree is finished.
My husband brings the Christmas boxes down from the attic and my nephews come over to help me decorate the tree. Regardless of my sister’s opinion, once again my garland will be placed in an up and down direction.
One of my nephews did let it slip that his mom can’t understand why I decorate a pine tree when everyone knows it should be a spruce tree.
Just where is this book on Christmas tree rules anyway?

 

 

 

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It’s Only the First of November

 

Notice all the houses decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving Day?
In Mission Hills subdivision there is a turkey made from a bale of hay. Driving around town you see more than one cement goose lawn ornament dressed as a Pilgrim. In Colonial Springs there is a Minnie Mouse statue dressed as Pocahontas.
Early in the week you could hear the leaf blowers throughout the different neighborhoods. Streets were lined with piles of leaves waiting on city crews.
Yes at our house we opted to get ahead of the bad weather and decorate the outside lights. Although we will NOT turn the lights on until it gets closer to Christmas, it was easier to string the lights along the eaves when our fingers weren’t so cold.
There is a house on Smith Valley Road that has Christmas lights up and lit for display the day after Halloween. I’m afraid if we start with the Christmas decorations in October we might tire of them by December.
But then again there is a house in Northern Park that has their holidays up already….simply because they have never taken them down all year.
It is difficult to get in the Christmas spirit still munching Halloween candy.

 

 

 

 

 

April Spring Showers !

tomato-plant

Last week the temperature was 62 degrees outside, today we are faced with rain.  Students have given up hopes of missed school days because of the weather. The best offered was getting to sleep in for two extra hours before going to school because of fog.    

On St. Patrick’s Day, one man in Colonial Springs was busy cooking supper on the outside grill.  Two streets over a man was out on his riding lawn mower. 

El Niño has been good to Indiana.

April showers can be expected soon.  Let’s hope we do NOT have a repeat of the April storm of a few years past.  The storm warnings came over the television then the icefalls were falling from the sky.  The hail hit with the force of angry rocks.  I kept waiting for my windows to shatter.  The hail bounced off the street, splashed in the back yard and batter my roof until I felt like I was inside a tin-can target at a shotgun practice. 

The bombardment stopped, moving on to a different city after fifteen minutes.  Neighbors came outdoors to talk and check on the damage.  The car hood looked pitted as though someone had taken a baseball bat to it.  The roof of the house would carry evidence of the storm that would be soon fixed by insurance leaving the pings imprinted by the hail just a memory.

My husband called from work in Columbus.  He was asking about his new garden tomatoes.  He heard we might be getting some rain with a bit of wind.  Well you can kiss those tomato plants goodbye.   

Today we have a slight rain shower but we can’t trust Mother Nature.   While the now famous weather phenomenon has brought an unusually pleasant winter to Indiana, we could still get two to four inches of snow.

Remember this is Indiana.  The bad weather isn’t over until AFTER the boys high school basketball tourneys. 

 

 

 

Return of the Snowbirds

 

imagesMy Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven should return to Greenwood soon.  They are the family snowbirds. Just like our feathered friends, with the first signs of spring, they return.

“Snowbirds,” just like many actual birds, leave Indiana for the winter, but come back home in the spring.

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven have spent the winter in Lake Havasu, Arizona.  They have made friends in Arizona yet they always return to Indiana in the spring.

My husband never fails to mention them when he is out shoveling snow or scraping the ice on the car windows.  Uncle Steven also manages to call late night when it is bitter cold here – just to mention that he has his windows open and is enjoying the evening air.

Some people call them lucky.  These individuals who can migrate away from the cold.  They never have to put their summer clothes away, or purchase a new winter coat.  They never have to worry about which boots to wear just to go to the mailbox.  They spend the winter working on their tan.

By spending the winters in the warmer climate, snowbirds don’t have to deal with icy roads, shoveling their walks, falling on the ice and all of the other winter hazards.

They have a good reason for coming back – it’s home!  If they had to call any one place in the world home, Indiana would be it.  They have their home here and their family.

The neighbors and family watch the house for them.  Snowbirds aren’t just sunny day friends.  They do miss Indiana, but not quite enough to brave the cold and snow.

Basically,  they  escape from  the  hard cold  during the winter  and  it is beautiful  in Arizona.

Within a few weeks you can see the snowbirds flying (or driving) back to Indiana.  You can be sure winter is out of view.  Gone but not forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

The Misshapen Snowman

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-melting-snowman-image9815397

Ah . . the first snowfall of winter.  There was something magical about it, just as there was when you were a kid.  It was wonderful at first to see the snowfall but all right, we’ve had enough already!

This is the season of the misshapen snowman.  The fluctuating of temperatures provided both the perfect setting for snowman-building, and a factor of its inevitable thaw.  These snow sculptures stand tall for their public, hard packed and solid.  Then the heat of the sun – turns them bleak and frail. 

At first, my nephew’s snowman had that rundown look, a tad unrecognizable.  Looking in the yard now you would question: What could that clump of snow be?  Was it an occasional heap of winter rubble?  Now it is mixed with leaves, and dirt.  It takes a second glance to know this shapeless statue was once a snowman. 

Finally the snowman is a non descriptive icon of snow.  In fact, it look as if it was near a microwave  —  nuked.

There was a precious persona even in its disintegration.  In the snowman’s short life,  my nephew built a monument to  the winter blahs,  for however long or short it was.

 

 

 

Christmas Shopping !

 imadddges

Now the fun can begin. Less than twenty shopping days until Christmas.  Why is it that many of us wait until the very last minute to do our holiday shopping?

Only once could you find me shopping exactly three days before Christmas.  On that day I made a promise to myself, I would never let the shopping days slip away again!

You do not want to find yourself looking for that perfect gift for your loved one on the day before Christmas.  Why?  Because you might not find anything.  That’s why my brother-in-law always winds up with more than one sweatshirt.  When people wait, they can’t find him anything.

Other than the food court, I can’t picture why people enjoy shopping the week before Christmas.  The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally known for being the biggest shopping day in retail.  If we understand this, then why would someone want to fight the crowds two days before Christmas?

The last thing I want to do is spend four or five hours of my time meandering all over the mall, getting pushed and shoved around by a mob of shoppers.

No, I do not cop out of the experience by giving a gift certificate.  Although that idea, for some people is better appreciated.

I do the biggest majority of Christmas shopping in July.  It’s a trade-off, I shop with no hassles.  I leave the shopping on December 23rd to those who want to fight the crowd.

 

 

 

 

Holidays and the In-Laws

Now that Christmas is drawing near, eventually the time will come when the in-laws will come for a visit.  I have a few suggestions on how to make the visit memorable.  It might make a difference if they return next year.

Think of the decorations.  When decorating your house, think more, more, and more.  A house can never be over-decorated.  Decorations should dominate the field of vision at all times.  Explain to them how you have been so busy decorating and celebrating for Christmas.

Give each child at least a dozen cookies a day.  Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, it doesn’t matter which kind as long as they are sugar coated.  The most the child should have in one day is 27.

Purchase magazines that have headlines about divorce.  Perhaps go to the library and take out a book on open marriage.  Leave it on the coffee table.

Constantly tell your in-laws how you had to buy everything that the children wanted for Christmas.  Who is to say it was not healthy to satisfy all their desires?  Tell them how your husband told you about all those gifts he wanted so badly but never received.  Those disappointments haunt him to this day.

Pick up more than one credit card application as you walk out of the department stores.  Place these half filled out applications throughout the house.  Mention that you do worry about whether you can pay off your credit cards during your lifetime.  That’s a legacy you can pass on to your children.

Purchase gifts that send them a message.  Buy them a piece of luggage and give them a book on travel.  Enclose more than one brochure about taking a cruise for the holidays.

Bring out all the Halloween treats that were never eaten and brag about the good sales on candy you found.

Lose all self-control in your eating habits.  Don’t worry about gaining weight.  You can always lose any pounds in January.  Every time your mother-in-law asks if she can help in the kitchen, be munching on food.  It is a good idea to lick any spoon, cough, and put it right back in the bowl.

Switch the local radio station to an all jazz station or try to find a rap station.  Pretend to understand the lyrics, snap your fingers or tap your foot.

Talk about how you always wanted a Saint Bernard.  If you have a dog already, wouldn’t he be an added enjoyment inside the house?

Try to telephone as many other family members or friends as you can.  So what if your in-laws are in the other room?  Hello Aunt Betty in Georgia, my husband said your pot roast was the best he ever ate.  Can I have that recipe? 

Set the goal of creating that perfect Christmas for the in-laws.  No expectations can be too high for the holiday season.  In fact, next year might be more perfect than this year.   They might actually take that cruise.