Posted in Thoughts

Christmas Favorites

The things that we care about say a lot about us. I’m a sentimental slob but my husband is even worse. I look like an old softy, but he looks like a badass biker dude, but he’s a cinnamon roll (think that’s the new term for layers of sweet gooey goodness.)

I would love to see or hear about some of your favorites. Feel free to send me a photo or comment about your favorites. I’d love to hear from you.

Favorite Ornament

I have too many favorites to name them all, but I will say anything handmade by friends or family members. I lost so many of those when our house burned down.

One of the first ornaments we received after losing our house was handmade nutcracker soldiers from my dear friend and prom date, Alice. She made soldiers representing each of our sons. With a son in the Army at the time, my husband’s love of nutcrackers and the fact that Alice made them, this is one of my all-time favorite ornaments.

Favorite Christmas Tree

I used to do themed Christmas trees. One year my sons and I did a Native American tree with hand carved fetishes, pewter charms, dreamcatchers and an Indian Angel. We used pinecones and gumballs to decorate the tree. It was one of our favorite projects and a lovely memory.

Favorite Decoration

Oh wow, when I started writing I was sure I knew what my favorite was but then I thought but what about… so, here is my three favorite decorations for Christmas.

Even though I no longer have it as it was lost in our house fire, my all-time favorite decoration was the ceramic village my husband’s aunt Nancy made for us. She gave us a new piece for Christmas each year and I couldn’t wait to add it to the others. It wasn’t always easy finding places to display the village, but it was an important part of our holiday and a memory I cherish. It was as beautiful as the lady who made them for us because like her, the village was about love.

After losing the house, my sister-in-law decided to replace my husband’s meager nutcracker collection with a massive one she collected throughout the year. We’ve added a few more to it over the years but it all started with one box of soldiers. I have to admit it’s not Christmas without the nutcrackers standing guard.

The other Christmas decoration that means so much to me is my outside snowflake lights. My husband surprised me with them one year and I didn’t want to take them down. I left them up until March that first year convincing my husband they looked like flowers.

I’d love to hear about your favorites.

Posted in Thoughts

Nutcrackers and More

When my son joined the army, a friend made soldiers for my tree. She made nutcracker soldiers to represent each of my boys. They were lost in the fire and I later replaced them with soldiers from the craft fair.
My husband loves nutcrackers. The Christmas after we moved into our new home, my sister-in-law restarted his collection of nutcrackers. It is the one decoration he enjoys every Christmas. He unwraps the dozens of soldiers while I place them on the mantel amid artificial greenery and bows. This year, much to my delight, he not only unpacked but he placed them on the mantle. It was fun to watch the holiday movie, “Nutty Christmas,” while setting out the nutcrackers.
Mom and dad rarely had outside lights or any other Christmas decorations. My favorite lights have been the snowflake lights my husband wrapped around the eaves of our front porch. It’s so pretty I don’t want to take them down. Sometimes I leaved them up until spring. This year, the rain has interfered with our attempts to decorate outside. I was pleasantly surprised to come home from our Ladies’ Aid Christmas party to see he’d put the lights around the porch. It’s beginning to feel like Christmas.
My Christmas wreaths have varied from ones I’ve made to ones I have bought to ones given to me by friends. One I bought at a craft fair had toy motorcycles among the greenery and another, a gift from a friend, had little green frogs (I adore little green frogs). Some of the frogs sang, one wore a Santa hat and another was dressed as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Christmas is more than the decorations, more than the presents. Our traditions have evolved over the years. Christmas eve is now spent with my in-laws, including my mom and her sister, assorted children and grandchildren. We’ve gotten to be so many that we have to use the church fellowship hall to host our Christmas eve supper. I work, and often the festivities have started before I arrive. This year we will return to our soup and sandwich meal, saving our turkey dinner for Christmas day. We’ve had everything from full blown Italian dinner to tacos, to quiche to soup and sandwiches.
Our gift giving is limited, we now have 19 grandchildren, making 20 great-grands for the in-laws. My sister-in-law comes up with games and prizes, and we’ve started doing gag gifts with a $5 limit for anyone 12 years old and over. I search for bargains throughout the year, clearance items and two for one sales are a must. Raising six sons prepared me but who would have thought as an only child I would have such a grand family.