Friday, November 23, 2007

'Tis now the season

Hello there. Would you look at the time?! After 5 p.m. and I'm just now posting. Well, it was a holiday yesterday, you know. And now a new season is upon us.

A 42-ish word recap of Thanksgiving recap: Thanksgiving for the residents of Jenworld means driving down to Roanoke, eating lunch with my father's side of the family and then dinner with my mother's side of the family, followed by the trek home afterward. Much family, much food, much fun.

It is after we return home late on Thanksgiving night that the new season begins for us. After we put the girls to bed, we pull out the Christmas books and put them in the hall outside the bedrooms. When the girls wake up the next morning, they immediately start grabbing books and settling into their beds to read for much of the morning:

Oh wait, that's not Elegant's bed. For whatever reason, this year she opted to drag a blanket and pillow out to the hall, whereupon she laid on the floor and read for a couple of hours.

Then, we always do a little bit of tidying up and cleaning before we haul the Christmas decorations out of the attic. Yes, yes, I know it's only November 23rd. If we didn't have children, we would probably wait until December to bring on the Holiday Merriment, but we do have children, so the Merry Merry Merry and Ho Ho Ho begins today.

I made the girls clean their bedrooms before we would pull out any decorations. Yes, I know I'm cruel like that, but it's for a good reason. I have been collecting ornaments for Graceful and Elegant since they were born. That way, when they grow up (sniff) and one day move into their own homes (sniff sniff), they'll have decorations for their own Christmas trees. For now, each girl has a small fake tree for her room and putting those up is the first step in transforming Jenworld into Holidayworld:

The next step in decorating Jenworld is the fireplace mantel:

See that? The stockings really are hung by the chimney with care. I cared, really, I did. Above them, is our collection of wooden nutcrackers. We add a new one each year and today the girls got to see the newest one. I'll now spend the next five weeks telling the children to keep their damn hands off. And Elegant will spend five weeks ignoring me, so I will then have to glue or reassemble at least two nutcrackers in the next month. I could possibly run a mild electrical current through the nutcrackers in order to really keep small hands off, but that would probably ruin some of the joy of the season.

Beyond the girls' bedrooms, the fireplace, and the Christmas tree that we'll be getting next weekend, I don't do much other decorating inside the house. I used to have little Christmas thingies everywhere, but all those Christmas thingies end up needing to be dusted, and I do so hate to dust Christmas thingies, so I've pared way way way back on all that.

After the mantel was done, I worked on the outside of Jenworld too. So, after putting a wreath on the front door and another one on the kitchen door, I started untangling lights. You'll be so proud of me. I did not cuss one single time or even many single times. I did not even THINK any cuss words.

This will be our ninth Christmas in this house and I have never put our lights up the same way twice. I seriously forget from year to year what we've done in the past.

In the early years, we were still trying to be classy (as if) and had a white candle in each window and some tasteful white lights in the front yard. But when the girls were toddlers, the candles in each window had to go away for reasons that I think should be obvious. I also put some colored lights in the backyard for the girls to enjoy from the big window in our kitchen. Then I decided to stop being so class-ay and go with colored lights in the front yard too. Lots of 'em. As many as our exterior electrical outlets can support, which is unfortunately not as many as I'd like. Some years, the lights go on the bushes and some years they go on the railings and some years it's a little of both. This year, I went mostly with railings.

Graceful and Elegant have been begging for years for one of those ginormous inflatable Christmas snow globes:

That one doesn't thrill me so much, but this one does:

Chopper Santa is about six or eight feet long and I'm wondering if the retired couple across the street would have apoplexy if I plunked that thing in our front yard.

Or how about something in neon, such as Mrs. Claus on a Harley:

Mmmm. Maybe not. I don't actually want to be one of those houses that people drive by for Holiday Entertainment.

I got the lights up and they just popped on a little while ago. The girls noticed almost immediately and both gasped with pleasure, which is really all that matters.

So here's how it looked just at dusk:

Hard to tell, I know. It's pretty much lights on all the railings and around the front door. None on the bushes because the Old Lady who sold us this house planted hollies everyfuckingwhere, so putting lights on them nearly requires a blood transfusion afterward.

The garland over the front door is fake greenery unfortunately, because I'm allergic to pine and, since I'm the Holiday Elf who hangs all this shit, I'd rather not spend the next 12 hours with swollen inflamed rashy hands. Fake wreath too. We will have a real tree, because I refuse to go fake there.

Well I'm off to listen to good music, read a good book, and generally relax a bit.

Happy Friday everyone.


Patience_Crabstick said...

Your house looks great.

Sue said...

We put out the Christmas decorations today too. It was so much fun. Christmas with kids is pretty great.

We had a real tree for three years and every one of those years we were all sick as dogs. I'm wondering if it's related. We're going to go with a fake tree this year - see if it's allergies.

CAL said...

You crack me up. I love the decorations but I love your writing more!

Mrs. G. said...

Well, if this post doesn't put me in the spirit, nothing will. You've done all your shopping, your house is I detect an over achiever in the house. Fabulous photos.

I love how much your girls love to read. What a great gift.

Linda and her Surroundings said...

Your house looks like something from a story book!!!

We put our tree up this coming weekend.

I love it.

MizMell said...

I much prefer the tasteful sprinkling of lights to overinflated plastic things in the front yard. You made an excellent choice with your decorations. (Wish I could drive by for entertainment...)

Badness Jones said...

The boy's birthday is Dec 6, so we'll celebrate that and THEN get out the Christmas stuff....

Is that the Hanna Andersson Playdress/Daydress on your girlie? My daughter loves those too....

Rebecca said...

So on top of the game - I'm impressed!

Flutterby said...

And to think it's a miracle around here if the tree is even out of the shed by the week before Christmas....

Lela said...

Everything looks great! I have to do my stuff today, I'm thinking I may milk my cold a little more to get out of it though!

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Badness: Yes, that is a Hanna. She has the pants too, but of course wasn't wearing them. I get most of her Hannas on eBay either new with tags or barely worn. Others come from the Hanna sales every few months. El's wardrobe is probably 75% Hanna, including her tights!

Lisa@Take90West said...

Your house looks great! You got a lot done.
My house looks like the rubbermaid aisle at Walmart.