Thursday Thirteen – 12-15-05

Thirteen Things about
Holiday decorations I like and despise
with a few other tangents thrown in for good measure.

1. I love white twinkly lights.  The smaller the better.  And if they are imbedded in greenery the effect is that much more magical to me.  It reminds me of starlight reflecting off of icicles.  And yes, I know that starlight cannot scientifically reflect off the ice.  But, well, that’s part of the magic.
2. I cannot stand big colorful Christmas lights.  Even if I didn’t think that they were, well, a tad gaudy, I would still have a problem with them.  This is because they remind me of clowns.  I have been afraid of clowns since I saw Poltergeist at age eleven.  It didn’t help allay my fears that I looked a lot like Heather O’Rourke.
3. I enjoy rustic holiday decorations…the kind made out of brass or wood.  These especially appeal to me if they look like they could have been passed down from generation to generation.  And if they look like they could have traveled over from “the old country” (wherever that may be), then that is even better.
4. I do not like mass produced plastic gewgaws very much.  I always break them and then feel guilty thinking about all of the non-renewable energy that went into making them…or of the underpaid Third Worlder who may not even have time off for holidays…ever.
5. I additionally do not really get into fluffy stuffed decorations.  But this is simply a space issue.  I don’t know where I would keep these cute keepsakes for the other 11 months of the year.  Plus, I’m just not a “cute” person.
6. I like the richness of the flowers at this time of year.  Poinsettias are so lush and vibrant.  But as a mom, I have to remind everyone to keep these lovely flowers out of the reach of small children and animals.  They are unfortunately, poisonous.
7. If you are going to eat something, try an orange.  I had one this morning.  Have you ever noticed how much better citrus tastes in winter when all other food has become so bland?  Getting an orange in the toe of my stocking was always so wonderful on Christmas morning.  I am glad that my family never got into the chocolate orange craze.  It could never be the same.
8. This isn’t really a decoration, unless you are like me and tape them to the kitchen cabinets, sliding glass doors, or whatever non-painted surface presents itself.  But, I really enjoy picking out holiday cards for everyone.  I try to find sets that represent our feelings or location each year.  And just this past year (2004), I started to send out a Christmas letter.  I know that this seems for many to be sort of impersonal, but I can fit so much more into a letter than onto a little card.  And for many of our relatives and long lost friends, this is how they get our current news.
9. I used to dislike getting pictures of people’s kids for holiday cards.  But you know, it’s amazing what having children of your own can do to your hardwiring.  I even sent one of these out last year.  And now, when I get other family’s picture cards in the mail, I clutch them to my heart and giggle like a schoolgirl.  Then I run over and show them to Chris, who humors me by oohing and ahhing appropriately.  They usually stay on the fridge until the following year, only to be taken down for prompt replacement.
10. I do not like animatronic singing snowmen, reindeer, or Santas.  Figurines should stand still.  Statues should be statuesque.
11. The same goes for fiber optics.  I stopped shopping at Spencer Gifts when I was thirteen.  I don’t need it in my home.
12. If you ask anyone who knows me, I am a sucker for wrapping paper.  I think many butts fell asleep during my baby shower for Kajsa.  I just love it.  I have to admire the prettiness and remove it with all due respect.  I keep the bows.  I keep the gift bags.  They bring me great happiness…every time I see them peeking out from the floor of the closet, where they are kept in the big red gift bag.
13. And lastly, my all time favorite holiday decoration has got to be the look of awe found on the faces of all the children at this time of year.  The twinkle in the eyes, the gleam as the light hits their toothy smiles…it simply warms the heart.  If I had no other decoration, this would be enough.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday.  Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged!  If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments.  It’s easy, and fun!  Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well!  Leanne will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


9 thoughts on “Thursday Thirteen – 12-15-05

  1. Being on the Right Coast gets me a look at this first I guess. Enjoyed it a lot. No surprises and a lot of congruence with my own likes and dislikes. The citrus entry reminded me of how special an orange was at Christmas in the 40’s and 50’s. Our neighbors got tangerines, but they were deemed too expensive in our house. The Thursday Thirteen idea is a good one. I was going to do my own and then realized that I am at work and am blocked from my own blog. Wierd, and perverse, that I can get to yours and Devon’s but not mine. But of all the blogs in the world I like yours best.

  2. Poltergeist made me fear clowns and after I read “It” there was not a chance in hell that I would ever like clowns. Naturally, I married someone who had several clown friends (seriously they are circus clowns).

    Is it wrong of me to still not really care about pictures in cards? I like looking at them, but I am too lazy to do anything with them so they end up ??? I started not to put a picture of the girls in our cards this year for this reason, but in the end caved and had an adorable picture taken.

    I will have to take a picture of my gift bag collection. I keep the bags, the tissue if it isn’t white, and bows. I do this saying I will reuse them, but then I don’t want to let a really pretty bag go if I know I won’t get it back. I am sick!

    Great list!

  3. That is a fabulous list. You look nothing like that Heather, btw. I love the white lights, the elegance. I love seeing how kids grow in those pictures from year to year. I wish poinsettias weren’t poisonous. And…I am in love with clementine oranges right now!

    My 13 are up too 🙂

  4. Hi there!

    I love plant holiday decorations too and I love the smell of pine.

    My husband HATES the orange chocolate balls. One year he ate one and got horrendously sick…his whole family did. It just happened that they had the flu right around the time they ate their chocolate orange balls. But they all hate those balls.

    My 13 are up!

  5. I love white lights, and I am not a fan of the big colored lights either. I hate clowns! Always have…as a kid my mom said I would scream if I saw I’m sure there is some deep menaing there. LOL

    As for oranges, I love them in the winter…they do taste better this time of year!!

    My 13 is up, come see me!

  6. Clowns ARE scary, I don’t care who you are. A few years back, we were visiting a little friend of ours in the hospital and three clowns came in and started their shtick and then posed for a picture, which the nurses took with an instant camera. The little girl’s mom now has a photo of her girl and three of mine crying their heads off, hysterical about the juggling clowns. Shudder.

    My 13 are up!

  7. Wow. I leave for the day, and come home to such a party going on.

    Rodney Roe:
    I will sometimes write something, and save it as a draft. It is so odd that you can read blogs, but not post. Well, at least you can do something entertaining during breaks. I’m so glad you like my ramblings. Thank you.
    And yes, oranges are simply divine right now. Tangerines are good, too. But I suppose any citrus makes me happy during the dark months.

    I’ve always had this hunch that clowns are just weirdos, who found their niche. Were your friends just like everyone else when the paint came off, or was there something a bit odd about them?
    Yay for you on getting the photos taken. You wait and see. It’ll change your view, I’ll wager.
    As for the gift bags…My friend Gem gave me a present in a huge bag with roses on it one year. I gave her something in it for her next birthday. It came back to me later that year. We both loved it, and kept passing it back and forth until it would no longer hold anything.

    I should post a picture from my childhood with her’s next to it. It is uncanny.
    As for the decor and yummies, I’m glad to know you share my fantastic taste. 😉

    Hello. Mmm…pine is so homey.
    It is really unfortunate that there was such an aversion to the chocolate oranges in your husband’s family. I don’t like them much, but at least it doesn’t provoke nausea.

    Yellow Rose:
    Hello. And welcome fellow clown-o-phobe. I think we all need a secret hand shake. There do seem to be enough of us to form quite the club. Then we could all sit down and munch on some tasty oranges.

    That is horrible. I can only imagine. Today I took Kajsa to Subway. It was Customer Appreciation Day; so one of the employees was dressed up like a huge sandwich. Kajsa did OK and even carried on a cute little conversation with the guy. But this other little girl was absolutely terrified. She screamed until I ripped the balloon off of the back of my chair and took it over to her mother. The look of gratitude was palpable. I could only reply, “Hey, I’ve been there. Hold the balloon over here, so she can’t see the giant sandwich guy.”

  8. I’m totally with you on the christmas lights decoration. Tiny white lights are beautiful and magical. Obnoxious multi-colored large lights make me want to gouge my eyes out.

    I didn’t realize poinsettas are so poisonous. I love them and have been wanting to pick up a plant because I’ve seen them on sale everywhere.

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