|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.
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