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.


Blogger Squirl said...

That is a beautiful sunset picture.

I think the blue decorations sounds pretty. At work we found blue lights. We wrap silver tinsel around the cords and hang blue, um, ornaments, a few to a cubicle.

I love the story about the gum wrapper chain. One year Ichabod took a Playboy cover of the Swedish bikini team and used it to wrap a bottle of wine for his grandfather. His grandfather, having a good sense of humor and being artistic, made a cardboard cutout in the shape of a tree and pasted that picture to it. The two of them exchanged that card back and forth for years. It was hilarious.

2:23 PM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

Everyone should have blue, um, ornaments in the workplace.
I love those back-and-forth gifts (and cards.)
My father once received a gift-box of Old Spice products, and sent it back to the sender (as a joke) the following year.
This went on for years after!

2:57 PM  
Blogger SoozieQ said...

I love the blue decorations myself. I primarily use those in our house as blue balla, er...ornaments though as we don't have a tree.

I also think the back and forth gifts are cool. Now that we're trying to cut back on gifts (the adults, not for the kids for heaven's sake!), something like that might really be fun and keep it interesting.

Hmmm, what could I give my Brother this year that will crack him up and at the same time not offend the "elders" of the family? *THAT* will take some serious consideration.

I love your stories SierraBella. I know that makes me sound like a little kid, but I can't help it. Perhaps it's the way that you write, but I always feel like I'm *right* there witnessing it myself.

6:35 PM  
Blogger jac said...

It is a marvellous pic, sierra!

7:37 PM  
Blogger nope said...

Beautiful picture!

M has a thing for blue lights, so that's what we have around the outside of our house, at the roof line. It's very understated yet pretty. We have multicolor lights across the mantle on the fireplace.

I am an only child away from my father, so I have to use M's family as my source for silly stuff. His family has a rather horrible tradition of re-gifting a dried out frog that his mother found in the basement years ago. We got it last year and I managed to 'accidentally' leave it behind when we left. M's family has a rather ill sense of humor. :)

6:54 AM  
Blogger Romani Heart said...

I love the white trash gift idea. Reminds me of my favorite phrase "spam suckin' trailer trash."

7:14 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Okay you had me laughing with the blue, um ornaments. Love the picture. BTW I left a post just for you over at my place.


9:52 AM  
Blogger Squirl said...

I just remembered a good one. Years ago one of the departments I worked in had a secret Santa exchange. Somebody got a pair of Christmas boxer shorts. Guess what got passed around for years after that? tee hee

10:03 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

As to a gag gift for your brother-
You might be surprised to find your family elders might be more 'out there' than you think, although a wind-up walking penis might be a bit too much!
You don't know how much I appreciate the compliment you left.

Thank you, it was taken on the west side of our property.
My family laughs at the hundreds of pictures I've taken from that spot, but the changes in the colors of the sky are what amazes me.

I'm simply amazed at all the fans of the color blue I'm seeing here.

OK, maybe I'm sick, but I find the dried-out-frog gift great!

You say Spam like it's a bad thing? Well Spam sucking might be a little odd...
We always keep a can of it in our disaster kit. Although I prefer it fried, it can be eaten cold (not an entirely pleasant thought.)

Thanks for the posting about Christmas in Santa Fe, I enjoyed it!

Guess you'll never look at blue ornaments the same way?

Now that's funny! The gift that keeps on giving.

12:13 PM  
Blogger eclectic said...


In our family, it was the popcorn-n-cranberry-garland that got passed around, each year losing more and more of itself. I think it finally broke at my Aunt Rosemary's house.

But I don't have any blue, um, ornaments OR blue lights. But green? Oh yeah! I can give you green balls if you want them...

4:14 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

My mom has a white tree and blue lights and decorations, with just a little silver here and there.

Cute tradition with the white trash Christmas gift.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

I love the gag gifts!! That frog is hilarious! You're not the only sick one Sierrabella!

sort of related... when my family is having dinner and someone finds a hair, we all start shouting congratulations to that person like it's the big prize.

4:29 PM  
Blogger jac said...

You like nature as I do, don't you ?
That picture is a proof, I have hundreds of pics taken from same spots.
Everytime you can see that the colour is differant.

12:39 AM  
Blogger cheesecakey said...

nice pic!
I like the multicolored little lights but this year we bought some blue ones....they're still in the box, however!
I don't have to go too far for a white trash Christmas....just call up the sister in law....
LOVE the baby Jesus replacement!

9:41 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

Aha, another family who passes gifts around! I suppose there was a huge celebration at Aunt Rosemary's that year?

Green balls? And I thought blue balls were creepy!

I'll bet you're going to walk by that Christmas tree at your mom's and start giggling at those blue errr... decorations!

I have everything ready for this year's White Trash Christmas except for the all important container.

I was hoping I had some other sick-o readers!

Now, as long as that hair found isn't a pubic hair, things are going well...

Yes, I am a nature lover as you are!

Each season and each sunset can make such a difference.

Thank you!

I bought some teal mini-lights from the Martha Stewart collection which are gorgeous... but always have the multi-colored ones too.

I hear you, about the sister-in-law! Hope she doesn't start hanging around your place since it appears mom is moving in with you.

Yeah, our Jesus Claus usually elicits laughter.

12:31 PM  
Blogger defiant goddess said...

I just giggled through this whole thing. I love the way you write!

6:13 AM  
Blogger Susie said...

You know, you participated in the blog cookie exchange without even knowing about it! (And without cookies, but that's OK, it's the traditions that are important!) I love the passing of the chain. We don't have anything like that, yet. It reminds me of a story of these 3 elderly ladies I know (I think I've posted this somewhere) who bought a pair of very tacky earrings at the church yard sale, and who pass them around cleverly disguised, on holidays and birthdays. One of them even obtained some stationery from the governor, and sent an "official" package to one of the others, with a letter thanking her for her help in his re-election campaign, and offering the enclosed gift as a token of appreciation. The she opened them and ....

2:44 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

AH! Susie that is fantastic! As soon as they see the earrings they know that they've been had. Truly genius!

4:44 PM  
Blogger jac said...

No updates ??

12:57 AM  
Blogger Rae Ann said...

blue balls... hehehe, funny!

7:23 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

I'm truly glad you enjoyed this!

Wonderful story!
Although I haven't been blogging as much as usual, I do so much enjoy reading about other's holiday seasons... not to mention Amy's 12 day of Stressmass video!

I so agree with you!
I love that "official" package method of delivering those earrings.

No updates just yet, but I've been living a yet-to-be-told comedy of errors which I'll be posting soon!

rae ann-
Glad you liked the blue balls reference!

11:20 AM  
Blogger jac said...

Been a week ????

4:08 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

No, not a week, only 6 days!
Good thing I'm not getting paid for this... I'd be in big trouble!

2:29 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

Ohmygosh, could you believe Amy? I was just so delighted with her, for her. I feel like a know a famous comedian, now :)

7:07 PM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

Heck, Amy was better than many I've seen on TV!
Since I only have dial-up access, it took a looooong time to download, and was well worth it.

12:50 PM  

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