Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Hi friends! I wanted to post a quick note ... some things have come up here that have swiftly devoured the hours of the day, and I haven't been back to posting my daily ornaments like I intended to. In case I don't get back to post my final installments, I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas. May your hearts be blessed!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Countdown: Ornament #7

The Seventh Ornament of Christmas:
Santa Express

When Incrediboy was a toddler, I had him with me while we were out shopping about this time of year - and I decided to quickly peruse the ornamnet aisle before we checked out. He was very into trains and squealed with an outreached pointing hand, "MOMMA, A TWAIN!" when he saw this wooden Santa Choochoo hanging amongst the other ornaments for sale. I removed one and let him examine it, and of course he became immediately attached to it. I let him hold it as we headed for the checkout. By the time we had been rung out, he'd bent up and mangled he little metal "santa Express" banner until the paint had chipped off.

I bought it anyway, but frankly, I was a little pissed.

Today, the missing paint and crinkled metal remind me of the little boy my big boy once was, who's growing up way faster than I expected. These imperfections now make this otherwise average ornament priceless.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Countdown: Ornament #5 & #6

The Fifth Ornament of Christmas:
The Holly Bell

When the Hub and I made it through that first hard year, I decided that I wanted to collect bells for my tree. I was able to find quite a few really pretty bells through the years before they seemingly fell out of style, because I rarely if ever see bells anymore (jingle bells are all over the place, but not these types).
This is my favorite bell. It's gold with filigree holly and ribbons on it. The holly and ribbons are painted with colorful enamel as well as the inside of the bell, and it has the loveliest tone when you ring it.

The Sixth Ornament of Christmas:
The Snow Bell

I got this Snow Bell at the same place as the Holly Bell, as you could probably tell. It too is decorated with enamel-filled filigree and has a beautiful blue enameled inner side. Its tone is slightly lower than the Holly Bell but is of the same charming quality.

I love these bells. I have many others, including several Santas (with clapper feet), angels, and various other colors and styles, but these two are my special ones.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Countdown: Ornament #4 ~ ... Plus the Gingerbread House

The Fourth Ornament of Christmas:
The Pewter Floral Globe

My college roommate had this girlfriend one year. She was from San Francisco, and she was absolutely gorgeous. She looked like a brown eyed, brunette Kelly McGillis (remember Charlie from Top Gun?). Not only that, but she was so nice you couldn't help but adore her. I have no idea what ever drew her to hang out with the likes of us.

For Christmas that year, she gave me this ornament. It's pewter colored, but it's very light. I have no idea what it's made of. There are beautiful, delicate hand-painted blossoms all over it and it hangs from a silken cord with a tassel on it. To be honest, I probably never would have picked it out for myself. Yet I loved it from the start.

This girl didn't date my roommate but that one year, and I haven't even spoken to her in a couple of decades. I have no idea what happened to her. But each year I take out this pewter floral globe, hang it on my tree, and remember the lovely girl who gave it to me and the sweet memories we did manage to make.

Additional Festive Photo: I was visiting Martie's blog today and she'd posted her very first gingerbread house that she and her granddaughter made. Interestingly enough, I also recently made my very first gingerbread house with Incrediboy. Here is our sweet chateau.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Countdown: Ornament #3

The Third Ornament of Christmas:
My Christmas Spider

One of my weird little fascinations is spiders. They are awesome - I have always admired their craftsmanship, patience and skill. They are truly one of nature's most amazing creatures. Imagine my excitement when I found this lovely little Christmas Spider ornament in the clearance section one after-holiday outing many years ago. Isn't he awesome? :D

I know what you're thinking. Spiders have 8 legs and this guy only has 6. I know, it's always bugged me too (pardon the pun). But since he has the anatomically correct two-segmented body, I live with it. After all, what says Merry Christmas like a shiny red and green spider?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Countdown via Ornaments

My BFF Chesneygirl stole a great idea from her blogpal Onebrick, and is posting a photo of an ornament from her tree every day in lieu of "regular" posts during the scrambly holiday season. I love this idea and am going to adopt it as well. Which should be very exciting for my 2 readers I have left.

Like Cg, I have a hodgepodge tree - and other than the usual glass globes, each ornament has its own memories. Just for fun, I'm going to post two of them today. We'll call them the first and second ornaments of Christmas :).

The First Ornament of Christmas:
Peppermint Stick

This is Peppermint Stick. My Mom got him for me when I got my first apartment, because I have always loved bunnies. He is my official first ornament of my very own. Even during the years when I didn't put up a tree, Peppermint Stick always got hung somewhere - in a doorway, on a curtain rod, or from a string of garland. I love him to pieces! This year is the first year ever that someone other than I got to hang him up. Yes, Incrediboy did the honors. I must love that kid very much. :)

The Second Ornament of Christmas:
Santa's Boot

Admittedly, this boot looks rather pretty in this picture. But believe me when I tell you it's the cheapest piece of painted plastic crap that you'd probably ever set eyes on. I bought this and several other ridiculously chincy ornaments the first Christmas Hub and I spent together. We were super poor, having just bought our first house, and had a silly little 3 foot tree. I bought a bunch of cheap ornaments at the Dollar Store for 5 for a buck - just to have something to hang on our tree. We always said that after we'd settled and built our lives a bit, we'd throw out these cheesy plastic junky things and just hang nice ornaments. But I still hang this and all the others every year. They are part of our history, and part of our wonderful memories.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The OCD Tree

As I was putting up our Christmas tree this past weekend, I was thinking about how much my BFF, Naive, sucks.

You see, she's the awesomest memory maker I know. Every year she and her husband bundle up the kids, go traipsing through the gorgeous snowy countryside, and select the most excellent specimen for their Christmas tree that God's own hand has designed. She takes gorgeous, Currier-and-Ives-feeling photos of them all, hiking through the snow with bright smiles and pink, chill-nipped noses - hunting and posing with their glorious find, and hauling it back home through the snow. It's incredibly Norman Rockwell.

I, on the other hand, haul an old fake tree out of the basement, assemble it together with metallic scrapes and squeaks, spend hours trying to reshape the synthetic branches back into something that doesn't look like it's been in a box for 11 months, and ultimately spray it with Febreze to try and diminish the faint basement scent.

Personally, I think we have made and will continue to make great holiday memories - and to be honest, our tree really is a very nice, very realistic looking one. But compared to Naive, and especially since I always grew up with real trees - I feel a little stale about it. And the best part is, she's always doing crap like this. She's an awesome mom and a brilliant tradition upholder and memory maker.

In conclusion - she sucks, and so do I.

But I digress ...

The point I was originally going to get to, is that I have always been extrememly obsessive-compulsive about my tree. I blame my mother - she trained me to balance the spacing of the ornaments, evenly sprinkle the conversation pieces and the glass globes, place ornaments inside as well as on the outside of the branches in order to disguise irregularities and gaps in the tree branches, not put the same color or type ornament next to each other, and most importantly, NEVER glob up the icicles into bunches. I realize I can be highly annoying - er - persnickety about this ... but I can't help myself. I've tried to lighten up, but truth be known, Hub stopped helping me decorate years ago for this very reason.

The past few years, Incrediboy has been very into helping me decorate the tree. This causes me much internal stress (mainly because so many ornaments are breakable, but mostly because of my OCD problem explained above). But I certainly want him to begin building loving and fun Christmas tradition memories just as I did when I was little. So he's helped me the past few years, and I've later (sometimes only seconds later) gone back to micromanage the arrangements properly distribute the ornaments.

After coming to emotional grips with the untimely death of my favorite green glass frog ornament all over the hardwood floor this year - Incrediboy and I (and even the Hub) ended up having a great time decorating the tree together. Hub, understanding me more than anyone, whispered to me as Incrediboy busied himself, "You can rearrange the ornaments however you want later". He gave me a knowing smile.

When the tree was done, the boys wandered off to watch football and play with Lincoln Logs as I sat down on the couch and surveyed the tree. The top of the tree was evenly spaced and visually well-distributed. The bottom, however, was a little off. Sections as big as my head were bare, while others were piled up with several ornaments all together. One branch in particular, right in the front, had a large Daffy Duck, two glass globes, a cracker barrel store, a giraffe, and a backwards fox family, all clumped together. Two bare branches over was another, weighed down with a Santa-shaped bell, three more glass globes, a Lightning McQueen, a rabbit in a fur hat and a toy soldier.

My eye twitched rapidly as I stared at them.

Then something came over me.

This isn't the way I decorate trees, with big clusters of decorations all bunched onto one branch. But this, this is the way my little boy decorates. My little boy, who not long ago was a little toddler, and not long before that, a tiny baby. And not long from now will be much bigger, and perhaps much less apt to want to decorate with me.

I suddenly loved the traffic jams of ornaments sprinkled around our tree. I suddenly wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, December 05, 2008


So I think I'm really done with Christmas shopping. And this time I mean it.

Incrediboy is certainly not going to be left wanting this season, though I'm sure there's something I missed. But geeze, I'm not made of money! Have you SEEN how expensive everything is?

Oh wait, I've already talked about that ...

Anyway, I found the last thing I was trying to find this morning. Some Bakugans. For those who don't have preschool to elementary school aged boys and girls, Bakugans are the new craze brought to us by Korean Anime. They are some sort of evil-world-fighting warriors that transform from spheres to creatures of various types and back again. There are trading cards and board games and all kinds of crap - it's a big marketing suckhole. Bakugan is on Cartoon Network right after Incrediboy's beloved Transformers, so naturally, he got sucked right in.

He asked for some Bakugans a few weeks ago, and ever since, all I've found are big gaping holes where Bakugans should be on store shelves. I've been watching on my secret weapon website, Amazon, but supply and demand has caused the prices to skyrocket. Target, Walmart, and all the stores' websites are also sold out. Ugh.

But today I happened by some Deka Bakugans on the Toys R Us website. The Deka Bakugans are softball-sized Bakugans, as opposed to the golf-ball sized gaming Bakugans. I was not only geeked because I think these will be much better for general play, but double geeked because they were in stock, and for a reasonable price! I snagged up a red and a blue one like a duck on a junebug.

Right after I checked out, both of them were switched to "out of stock" status. Whew!

It's a lot of work, pulling off this Christmas dreams come true stuff.