Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Christmas Box

The grandson came to spend the night before Christmas Eve, along with his mom.

After playing with my Christmas Village, admiring the Charlie Brown tree and looking for his presents under that tree, PJ wandered into my home office.

Although all my gifts had been wrapped, I've learned to leave all the giftwrap paraphernalia out as someone generally drops by in need.

The grandson located an empty box and asked to wrap it. He chose a couple of small toys and an Advent calendar he'd received, put them in this box, and decided a ribbon would do. He carefully placed it under the tree, but would periodically slide the ribbon aside and peek inside.

When he awoke the next morning, he thought it was time to open presents! I explained it was only Christmas Eve morning, so he decided to check his box...

The Advent calendar and toys were still inside, but there was a single candy-kiss nestled in there as well.

His eyes widened, and he let out a whoop! Santa came early!!! He barely unwrapped the lone candy before popping it into his mouth.

Later that afternoon, we all met up at my sister's house for dinner. PJ looked through the presents we'd all put under the tree. "Where's my box" was his immediate question.

Trying to think quickly, I assured him that we'd left it under our tree, and perhaps Santa would return.

I'm hoping to see him before we take the tree down, because Santa has indeed returned. His little box is now entirely filled with candy-kisses!

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Holiday!

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

The Tree-

I suppose most people have seen the movie "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

If I remember correctly, Charlie Brown purchases a forlorn little fir tree which disappoints his friends no end. The children discover the real meaning of Christmas, and with that, they lovingly decorate their little tree, turning it into a thing of beauty.

Well... We climbed down the hill, pruning saw in hand, to our little grove of young pine trees, as we've been doing for several years now. We found almost every one of the trees had died!

We did find one, barely alive. It was spindly, with some dead branches, but salvable (I thought.)

I had planned on loading down the tree with tons of ornaments and tinsel, but after hanging only two strings of lights the tree began to lean!

I fully expect this lightly decorated thing to keel over before the end of the holidays, and if it should, I'll post a photo.

In the meantime, though, I'm sort of enjoying this sad little tree. It is fresh, after all. (I'm trying to be optimistic here!)

Now I normally don't shop the day after Christmas, since I hate crowds, but this December 26 I'm braving the masses with the intent to purchase an artificial tree.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Strange (But True) Facts About My Christmas'

A Winter Sunset

My first Christmas after moving out of the parent's home, on a very limited budget, I trudged down to Sears and bought some Christmas decorations. My favorite color is blue, so I purchased one string of blue lights, and two boxes of blue balls ornaments. *heh heh heh* This was when I learned that yes indeed, there really is such a thing as too much of a good thing! Hey, I was only 19 years old.

I now prefer clear mini-lights, especially outdoors; although I do have colored lights.

Before wrapping gifts, I check whether batteries are needed, and include them with the presents. There's nothing sadder than a child, big or small, without the appropriate power supply.

The Baby Jesus from my Nativity Scene went missing many years ago. I'm thinking the Little Guy saw that he and his family were nestled amidst garishly packaged gifts, and decided to take a hike. I lovingly replaced him with a tiny Santa Claus figure which happened to be lying around. I feel this sums up the typical American Christmas.

I set a dollar amount to gifts, as most people do. If someone's total is under the budgeted figure, they receive the cash to compensate. Generally I stuff the money into the stocking of that person, but several years ago I got a bright idea- I created what's known here as The White Trash Christmas Gift!

My eldest was the first recipient. I had a crisp $20. bill I needed to give her. I also had this 30 foot long gum wrapper chain to get rid of...

I'd made this gum wrapper chain when the kids were small, and we used to wind it throughout the Christmas tree before adding ornaments and tinsel. The kids loved it when they were small, but I was totally over it. Nobody wanted the thing, but they surely didn't want me to trash it either.

I found an oblong box in which a previous holiday gift had arrived, and placed some tissue paper, the $20. bill, some pinecones, and the gum wrapper chain inside.

This created much laughter, and a new tradition. Each year since, my family eagerly (?) awaits the possible honor of being the recipient of the White Trash Christmas Gift.

I don't know whether my daughter finally trashed that gum wrapper chain, but I have a suspicion it will somehow return to my house... if it's not already here, hidden in some seldom used closet.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Little Tit For Tat

A Free Christmas Card- Posted by Picasa

I've always been a little anal about Christmas cards. Now that's an understatement!

I keep a yearly list, and if you've not sent me a card for two years- You're off my list- period!

Generally I purchase both religious and non-religious cards, with stamps to match each genre.

I carefully choose each card, stamp and usually a sticker to affix to the back of the envelope for every addressee, individually.

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a time has read a couple of postings about my husband's family, such as this one, knows I'm a little miffed at them.

Well, I'm working on my Christmas cards yesterday and tell Mr. SB his brother (who I'll call Ron, because that's his name) hasn't sent a card the past two years... and you know what that means.

Mr. SB, nice guy that he is, says "Let's be bigger than that- go ahead and send them a card anyway."

I can do that.

You know those cheap cards we all receive free, either from charities or sometimes arriving gratis within a mail order? Well I have some. The intent was to perhaps use some of the artwork, cut from the cards, as gift tags.

Let's just say, if you receive the card pictured above, and your name is Ron, let it be known that you're on my shitlist... and by the way- Merry Friggin' Christmas!

oh, and P.S.
I ever-so-carefully chose one of the uglier stamps, and the "Goodwill Toward Man" sticker especially for your card- enjoy!