My article for Dec 25th . . .
Well, I’m still planning menus and hoping to find time for another foray toward Exit 4 for a few more gifts—I’d rather stick hot needles in my eye, but I love my kids! (Which reminds me, I’d appreciate it if someone would open a book store downtown!) I know at some point I’ve got to just surrender, but for now I’m trying to plan out my last 12 hours pre-extended family time.
I am looking forward to the arrival of our Virginia sister and her family, but especially since Mom is coming, too. We’ve had a rough couple of months since the death of my Dad—“our” Dad—and this trip will be a difficult one—especially for Mom. I hope we are able to transition to happy memory sharing, rather than breaking down at the mention of his name. If, however, my emotional state as I write this is any indicator, there will be a lot of tears.
I have found that keeping busy is good for me. Dad was a busy guy—didn’t sit around much, until his joints forced him to do so. I guess my busy nature is part of his legacy. Thankfully, I have been very busy with the shop and home decorating. Therefore, in that vein, I will get busy writing my column about home decorating.
I recently overheard someone lamenting about the fact that, while she loved their traditional family tree—with all of the gathered ornaments representing their years together—she would love to have a themed tree or two. She went on to say she was hesitant to initiate a new tree due to the expense and space. Her thoughts were that it would be difficult to find somewhere to set-up another full size tree and very expensive to deck it in the ornaments necessary to outfit her proposed theme.
It was then that I, as I am prone to do, insinuated myself into her conversation and made a few suggestions. The first thing I told her was to buy tabletop trees to start her theme. A small tree is, obviously, going to be less expensive and will require fewer decorations to get started. My second suggestion was to use a lot of inexpensive filler until she reaches the desired level of ornaments for her collection. For instance, if you want a tree with only red to adorn it, buy only the red ornaments you really love. Use red tulle and red bows to fill-in the rest of the space. As you acquire more ornaments, you can remove the bows.
(Here’s a sample I found on the web—turns out it’s on a very nice blog. Take a look if you have time. NOTE: you do not just wrap the tree in tulle—you need to tuck it into place. See below.)
Sticks (here I go again) are another great “go to” source for filler. They can be spray painted to match nearly any theme. Just stick them into the branches of the tree so they protrude slightly beyond the pine. There are also very good quality plastic ornaments which can be used to fill-in, as well. These are all items which can be used to transition to a larger tree when you feel you’ve got enough ornaments to justify it. I still use my filler ornaments on our family tree—we hang them on the interior of the branches or at the bottom of the tree, where presents and nosey pooches tend to knock them off.
Of course, by the time you read this, most stores have marked down their holiday merchandise, so you have the perfect opportunity to pursue that theme tree for next year.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas surrounded by people you love. Talk to you next year.
(Okay, that wraps-up 2011. I’ll post that one later today, then I’ll publically make a bunch of promises I’m not wholly convinced I can keep—sometimes referred to as resolutions—but feel chances are better if I share them with the world!)
Thanks for your indulgence!