Monday, November 13, 2006

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

Cia posted this topic over at Romance Divas this weekend and, considering I'm elbow deep in Christmas crafts and homemade cards, I thought it might make a good blog topic -- you know, since I'm procrastinating instead of working on other things I should be doing. Feel free to consider yourself tagged (Jana! Rae! Bron!) and share your own holiday traditions.


When do you put up your tree? My family always put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving, but now that friends insist I get up before dawn to go shopping with them all day, I do it the weekend after (but only after sleeping until noon to recover from the day before). And yes, it's artificial -- not only safer for apartment living, but kinder to allergy sufferers as well.

How do you decorate it, colors, white lights, colored lights? I prefer white lights, non-blinking. My sister is the exact opposite: colored blinking lights. The color on my tree comes from the assortment of ornaments adorning it, many of which are handmade. I make ornaments for friends and family every year, keeping at least one out for myself, and receive at least half a dozen new ones in return.

Do you have a tradition to decorating the tree? Only one: there has to be candy canes on the tree. Since I don't care much for hard candy anymore, I only buy a few, then give most of them to my younger sister after the holidays. I've also compromised with handmade candy cane ornaments, some crocheted (NOT by me), some stitched (those would be by me).

Angel or a star on top? Victorian-style angel in ecru lace dress. Over the years our family alternated between both angels and stars, and even once had a lighted candle in a wreath that went on the top of the tree, but I have a small angel that fits perfectly atop my little tree, so that's what I use.

Do you like a big tree or small tree? I used to have a 7-foot tree, but it's a PITA to put up a tree that size on your own, so about five years ago I bought a 3-footer that sits on a table in my front room. I gave the big one to my sister last year when they moved into their new house. She offered to give me their 5-foot tree in exchange, but there really isn't room for it in my living room.

Do you color co-ordinate the tree? If I did that I wouldn't be able to use a quarter of my ornaments, a good portion of which are handmade.

Beads or garland? Well... For years my family used that gaudy gold garland and wrapped the tree from top to bottom. Yuck! I couldn't stand it, though my younger sister loves it. To each her own, I guess. When I had my larger tree I prefered silver tinsel -- luckily I have a cat who doesn't find it the least bit appetizing. Since getting the smaller tree I've changed it almost every year, just no tinsel or garland. One year I bought two long strands of rope cording -- the thick kind used for decorative purposes -- at an after-Christmas sale and used that the next year. Another time I found strands of pearl beads that go beautifully with my lights. I tend to alternate between them, depending on which one I'm in the mood for that season.

Nativity set? No.

Do you decorate the outside of the house or apartment? Colored non-blinking lights in the window, and years when I'm feeling truly ambitious I'll pull out seasonal window clings. I also have a small wreath with a snowman attached for the front door, a gift from a friend a few years back.

What's your favorite ornament? I'll go with the sentimental favorite: a flocked Santa Claus as old as I am.

Do you have ornaments handed down from generation to generation? No, but I have the above-mentioned ornament my maternal grandmother bought for my first Christmas. It's a little tattered since one of the dogs gnawed on him when we girls were little, but my tree isn't complete without him -- no matter how big an eyesore my mother thinks him.

Growing up, we girls (Me, Younger Sister, Baby Sister) always got to choose one new ornament at the store each Christmas, and Mom saved those we made throughout the years as well. The year after my younger sister graduated college (the baby sister didn't go and I graduated a year ahead of her), before we put up the tree, Mom had us go through the boxes and sort out what was ours, so that we would have them for our own trees. There were still plenty to go on the family tree. I probably have enough ornaments to decorate three 7-footers myself -- maybe four. *grin*


Babe King said...

Cute, and I loved reading about your yearly ornament purchase as a child since I just bought one for my son. His eyes were as big as saucers. I took him to a wall of ornaments and said, "Choose one". Yeah, it's a waste of money, but it lifts my heart. And his. I love Christmas. :-)

Heather said...

Oh, never a waste! If you're lucky he'll remember that moment a long time, and I bet you'll remember the joy on his face for many years to come. Definitely not a waste!

Jana said...

Thanks for the tag, chick. LOL

Heather said...

Hehe...what are friends for? Besides - that's one less blog topic you have to think up on your own. ;-D