Monday, December 1, 2008

christmas cheer

we decorated the house this weekend but we still have to put up the lights outside. this will be a new experience for us as brian never did it as a kid and my dad always did it when i was a kid. nor have we ever had a home together where we could put up outside lights.

i really like these candy canes in our front yard. they were a housewarming gift from a coworker and i think they are very fun and cute.

this candelabra centerpiece was also a housewarming gift. it looks warm and cozy when the candles are lit.

i usually dread dragging out all the christmas decorations and i resist until after thanksgiving. if brian had his way, we would have had decorations up three weeks ago, which to me is just wrong. i always forget how much i enjoy decorating until i actually start opening the christmas boxes and finding the things that i love. it's like christmas early.

we have a fake tree which i detest on the grounds of traditionalism (real trees are how it should always be) but love because i am a cheapskate and it means we don't have to spend money on a tree every year. every year we vow to throw it out or goodwill the fake tree, and every year we put it back in the box because we can't bear to part with a perfectly good tree and spend more money next year. this year we threw away the cardboard box that it gets stored in, because it was falling apart. maybe that means we will get a new tree (or a real one) next year. we said it was because the box was dying so we would pack it into plastic bins like the rest of the christmas stuff.

i really hate putting lights on the tree. i try my best every year to wind them properly so they don't get tangled and every year they do, which inevitably leads to fights and headaches and general aggravation. along with getting rid of the current fake tree, every year i swear that if we have to have a fake tree, next year we are getting a pre-lit one. brian thinks stringing lights is half the fun but he always ends up pissed off too, so i'm not sure how much fun it really is to him.

we usually end up getting new garland each year because that stuff is so cheap and just falls apart at the end of the season. i could happily do without garland at all and brian would love to have so much garland that no tree shows through. i don't know where he thinks he would hang the ornaments then.

this year our tree might have a bit of an identity crisis because brian bought blue garland and we had some white and silver leftover from last year. is it hannukah or christmas? i think it is not sure. good thing it is a fake tree with no feelings. i really like my light-up star for the top. i just wish it was blinky and twinkly, but at least it lights up, which makes me happy.

the best part about unpacking the mountains of christmas crap and rediscovering the decorations i love is unpacking and rediscovering the ornaments. my favorite one is front and center, just below the star, where she always goes. that little stuffed angel is from my parents when i was 5 and i have always loved her the best of anything. some of the most special ones don't go on the tree anymore, like the dough ornaments my mother made when i was 4 or 5 that are now starting to disintegrate. otherwise it's fun to find them again. here is the one kerry gave us for christmas the first year we were married, from kazakhstan. here is the one we got on our honeymoon. here is the one we picked up last year in ireland, and the stuffed napoleon brian was so thrilled to find when we went to paris last year. the clay hearts i made when i was little and the gold family ornaments from brian's childhood, including grandpa's (who died in 1997). also every year bonnie gets brian that year's collector ornament from the giants and the 49ers so we have a lot of sports-themed ornaments. every year i threaten to get brian a 3-foot tree and orange halloween lights, so we can have a tree specifically dedicated to the giants. he complains but i think he secretly likes the idea and i think it would look pretty neat.

we also went to the christmas parade in old town on saturday night. it was colder than i expected and i wished i had brought a scarf. we were looking for the neighbor girls who were marching in the parade but couldn't find them which was disappointing.

there were a lot of classic cars all lit up and we really liked that. brian and i really love classic cars. three of the local high schools also had their marching bands and color guards in the parade, and there were a lot of girl and boy scout troops. when i was in elementary school my girl scout troop marched in the escondido christmas parade a couple times, but i remember it being in the daytime and hot and i didn't like carrying the banner. maybe i am remembering the wrong parade. anyway, this parade was fun and hometown-y and i rather hope it gets to be a tradition.


JNJIMallonFamilyBlog said...

We have a fake Christmas tree we got last year and we just store it in big black plastic bags, it seems to work! But I understand the not wanting to get rid of a perfectly good tree but wanting a real one. Maybe you should find a spot for a really small real one. I left a comment after your comment on my blog, I had a question for you.

Kelly said...

I am pretty sure you are remembering the right parade. I know we marched in it, too, and your description was pretty accurate.

We also have a fake tree, and I LOVE it. Ours is pre-lit. and that thing has a LOT of lights. Oh, and a remote to turn them on/off. Ha. We always hang a fresh wreath inside for the christmas smell. And we don't decorate outside.

Tabitha (From Single to Married) said...

Pretty tree! I know what you mean about real vs. fake trees - I miss the smell of the real ones!! I don't, however, miss the dropping pine needles and the dripping sap! :)

eireann said...

the pre-lit part is enough for me, but a REMOTE?! i bet brian will love that. we are so getting one.

Jaimey said...

I am really glad I am not the only one who has the ornaments from elementary school. mine are on the tree cause they are old egg cartons not dough, I can see how that might now last so well. :) Merry Christmas!