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Posts Tagged ‘#christmas’

A few weeks ago, we jointly made the decision that we were staying home for Christmas this year. To make this special, we are “making a Christmas.” This may not be a big deal for most people since they do it every year. For us it’s huge. It’s been YEARS since we decorated, put lights outside or put up a tree. We were happy not to overwork ourselves during the holiday and going away on vacation always solved that problem. I’ve always sent snail mail Christmas cards, knowing that if I ever stopped, I’d never start up again. So far, we haven’t made the cards yet, let alone addressed and sent them.

Festive out front

Festive out front

On Thurs. Dec. 5th, we happened to find several vintage sets of Christmas lights at an estate sale. They were all unused, still in the box. We took them over and plugged each set in to be sure they worked. Only 2 sets of the bigger old timey bulbs weren’t able to be checked and those turned out not to work. Oh well. We got a few dozen sets for less than $1 each. Most were the multi-colored that twinkle which we love. A few sets were white and several others were 3 way blinking lights. That night we made a galliant effort to start decorating. And by we, I mean my husband. 😉 It was already in the 20’s outside and he was out that Thurs. night hanging several strands of lights in the bush out front. Also in the tiny Christmas tree in our front yard. Hubby also put lights up the hallway banister, on the ship’s wheel on the landing and around the perimeter of the living room. He wanted to do more outside but the temps have dropped too much. Seriously, I’m frightened to see our electric bill next month after this Christmas extravaganza. I’m kind of like a scrooge in that it seems like such a waste of money to put Christmas lights up. Then I go back to my way of thinking that it’s ok if we go all out once every 5 years. At this rate, we’ve got another few times coming before waiting the next five years. It’s so festive and cheerful and lightens everybody’s mood. That has to be worth something!
Candy cane lights

Candy cane lights

Both Friday & Sat. Dec. 6th & 7th, I found a small vintage ceramic light up Christmas tree at estate sales! One is green, the other has “snow” on it. One has pointy colored lights, the other has flower lights. I’d never taken an interest in these before (due to not celebrating Christmas) and now I’m just wild about them. One of the trees had a cord that didn’t work that hubby replaced. It was also missing several of the flower lights. Who knew those would be so hard to find? Every craft store in the area either doesn’t carry them or has been sold out for weeks. Hubby found some on ebay that are colored birds which look great in the empty spots.

Baby light up Christmas tree

Baby light up Christmas tree

We tried to get a dyed poinsettia like we had last year when we took it along to Mississippi! Last year, Pesche’s Garden Center in Des Plaines, IL had every color you could think of in addition to the standard red and pinkish white. I had chosen a glittery teal one and it was freakin’ gorgeous! This year I wanted a purple one. Of course we stopped in and they only had the regular ones. They said we could pick one out and they’d spray it any color we wanted. I hate asking for things like that so we passed. We also looked at their flocked trees. They cost $280 and are so pretty. I never cared about those either but now I want one. Even the red is pretty and I normally hate red. Hubby said we should see if they have the stuff to do the flocking and we’d do our own. They said no, they have a special machine like a carwash that turns the tree and sprays it from all sides. Hubby said we might have to get our toilet brush out of the attic. The sales clerk had never heard that term for a fake tree. Then she said we could bring in our own tree and they’d flock it for us for $20 a foot. A 6 foot tree would cost $120. Sheesh. And it would still be the same old tree.

Snow topped ceramic tree

Snow topped ceramic tree

Friday night (Dec. 6th), I was in the basement and I hear hubby calling for me. I go all the way up to the 2nd floor to find him getting ready to get on the ladder to go into the attic. He wants me to hold the ladder. Well, first thing I noticed was he brought in the wooden ladder that had been outside sitting in the mud. There was mud all over the floor and stairs. I didn’t get mad since I knew I was lucky to have him help me. Then he gets up on the ladder and one of the rungs breaks and the whole ladder just CRUMBLES. The wood is rotted and the ladder is useless. So hubby takes it outside and then picks up the larger wood remnants on the carpeting. Then I vacuum and then clean the mud spots with Folex. It’s like a 3 stooges episode, only there’s only 2 of us. So I guess that’s Laurel and Hardy. Wah!

Trimming the tree

Trimming the tree

At that point we gave up for the night/weekend. We didn’t have another ladder that would reach the attic. We wanted to be done and enjoying it early. It felt like a sign that we shouldn’t put a tree up. I’m one of those people who read everything as a sign. So I was delighted when on Thurs. Dec. 12th, we found an aluminum ladder at the first estate sale we went to for $15! I took that as a sign to proceed. That afternoon we went outside and put up giant candy cane and peppermint candy lights on the Chrismas tree outside. We’d gotten those at the same estate sale and had never seen them before. Because that tree is so huge, it would take at least a dozen strands of lights to cover it. We ended up using 4 strands of the giant lights and it turned out cool. We would’ve used more but only had 4!

Garland & ornaments on

Garland & ornaments on

Then we came in and got the tree and boxes of decorations down from the attic. The fake tree from back in the day was in pieces in plastic garbage bags. We found the tree stand right away and while I was going through the boxes, hubby was trying to put the tree together. Except the rod in the middle that all the branches hang on was missing. He had already taken the ladder out to the garage so had to get it again when I reassured him that the ONLY place the rod could be was in the attic. He went back up and sure enough found it.

The artificial tree looked so bare with gaping holes in places even after we shaped it some. I was afraid it would look terrible but thankfully, all the trimmings covered up a multitude of flaws! When we finished, there was no way to tell that the tree had been imperfect. We have multi-colored blinking lights around the living room so went with solid white lights for the tree. If we had anything else blinking, one of the dogs might have a seizure. Plus I figured there would be enough color with everything else we’d add. I had some thin wire star garland in gold and red plus some gold bead garland. We put that on next and then the ornaments. Boy, our oranments are lame. When I was in college, my parents divorced and my mom left all the best old vintage ornaments for my dad. Stuff that would bring big money now. I never liked the stuff back then so I don’t miss it exactly. Mom ended up picking out some classic red balls back in the 1980’s and Greg had a ton of apple ornaments from back when he decorated a tree for the window of the sheepskin store he owned in the mid-1980’s. So we put all those on and that’s a ton of red. As much as I’m not keen on red, it does look good on a Christmas tree! We still had some other garland left we didn’t use. It would’ve been overkill. However, I realized I don’t have more than 2 “nice” ornaments. One is an angel and one is a jointed teddy bear. I don’t have any that make me look back on them and reminisce. I happen to love Christmas ornaments. We sell a ton of them online through our home business and I love really pretty ones. I’ve just never owned any myself. Now I know why.

We went out over the weekend and twice when we came back, Elvis had taken down one of the red balls and chewed it up to nothing. All that was left was a few crumbs of styrofoam. Ivy and Amber are 5 years old and don’t bother the tree at all. Elvis is only 2 yrs. old and he thinks everything is for him to play with. We put the tree on top of our African slate table in the front window. It showcases it nicely but is so tall that the tree topper won’t fit on it. It looks fine without a topper. Elvis won’t stay off the table and jumps up and stands under the tree. We got one strand of blue icicle lights at that same estate sale and we hung them at the base of the tree like real icicles hang. I’m so worried he’s going to get caught in there and pull down the whole tree. At least we didn’t spend a ton on the ornaments if they get ruined.

The final masterpiece

The final masterpiece

I’m trying to plan fun things for us to do while hubby’s off work. He has only 2 days and 6 hours of work left this year. Then 17 days off! 🙂 One project we have in mind is redoing our kitchen cabinets. Since our kitchen is tiny and we can’t afford a remodel, we are going to wash down the cabinets and replace the UGLY hardware/ handles/ drawer pulls with some lovely vintage porcelain and brass ones we got for cheap at an estate sale. Yes, we do most of our shopping at estate sales now. There’s almost nothing we haven’t boughten at them. I just know it is going to make a huge difference! There’s more to tell about the weekend but no time to do it. I’m not sure I’ll get to post again before the holidays but I hope so. I hope everyone has the best holiday ever, no matter how they make it! 🙂

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