Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Deck the Halls

Trying to get into the Spirit of the season, I figured it would be a good idea to decorate the house.  So, on Saturday we loaded up and headed to Big Navy to buy a tree and decorations.  Sometimes I am in denial forget that I live on a small island where things aren't always in the abundance I have grown accustomed to.  We get to Navy and decide to get an artificial tree (real trees are available here, but they are shipped here from far away lands and are more dead on arrival than most "fresh" trees).  The nice trees were more than we wanted to pay (I've already asked my mom to buy me a nice tree for next year at one of the after Christmas sales, and we'll just ship it over when we're home next year), and we were a little concerned about Grabby Grabberson pulling a tree down on top of himself, so we (I very begrudgingly) settled on a little 4" tree with colored lights (I don't like colored lights).  Even on display, it kind of looked like Charlie Brown's tree.  Sigh.....

Then, I'm like, "Come on girl, pick yourself up by your boot straps, you can make this tree look nice.  It just needs some sparkle, some pizazz."  I start planning the theme in my head- we'll do all silver balls to reflect the colored lights and find cute whimsical ornaments that reflect childhood.  (Oh and if you're wondering why we are doing all of this, after all, we have been married for almost 9 years, you'd think we would have Christmas decorations already.  Well, we do.  In fact we have boxes and boxes of Christmas things- beautiful, wonderful, sentimental, fun Christmas things.  All packed away in long term storage- sent there by mistake because our big movers didn't load them and we didn't realize it until too late.  One box made it- it contained a pillow and a candle holder).  I was excited, I had a plan and a mission and then I walked down the ornament aisle and was met with- not much.  And NO shatter proof ornaments which, with a newly walking young man who has a fondness and knack for pulling on anything shiny, breakable and off limits, glass ornaments weren't going to work.  So we struck out at Navy, but I figured we still had our BX and I was SURE I could find what I wanted there.

Ha-ha, the joke was on me!  We went to the B/X the next night and they had even less of a selection and the only unbreakable ornaments were about $4 a piece.  Don could see the disappointment on my face and was like, "just get them, it's a little tree, we don't need that many".  But I couldn't justify spending $30 on 7 ornaments.  So, another wave of bah humbug started to crash over me.  And then, I decided, "Nope you're not going to get me.  I want a tree that captures the spirit of this holiday.  I want a tree that Price loves looking at and that makes his eyes sparkle as much as the lights on it."  I started wandering around the store, looking- wondering- what could I use for ornaments?  That's when I stumbled into the bakeware section and found a three pack of cookie cutters.  And I had it!  I knew what I would do.

We would hang the cookie cutters as ornaments.  I found some twine and candy canes and it was taking shape in my head.  It might not be the fanciest tree ever, but it was going to be good.

On Monday, I decided to see what Kmart had in the way of decorations.  I was pleasantly surprised to find ribbon and bows that went with my theme and found some shatterproof ornaments to add some extra sparkle.  Not only did I find what I was looking for, I also discovered that it's apparently ok to bring your pet chicken with you when you shop at Kmart.  I kept hearing a chirp and looked up only to find that a little girl had indeed brought a live baby chicken into the store and no one seemed fazed by it...

Monday night, more inspiration struck and I thought, why don't we make some dough ornaments to hang on the tree too (I am a little concerned about what creatures this may attract, but hopefully shellac will help prevent an infestation).

Today, Price and I made a batch of dough ornaments.  Let me tell you- there was a reason I couldn't find the tree I wanted or the decorations I wanted because making these ornaments was so much fun and really helped me get into the spirit of things. I never would have thought of making our own ornaments if everything had gone the way I wanted it to.  Isn't that what Christmas is about?  The unexpected surprises you find when you weren't looking, the beauty that comes from events not planned?  I couldn't help even but think of the birth of baby Jesus in a manger because there wasn't an abundance of places to stay. I'm not trying to compare my quest for a Christmas tree or its decorations to that of Mary and Joseph looking for a place to have their Son.  But really, it boils down to having to make due with what there is and then being amazed by what comes of it.

I may not have the biggest or most beautiful tree on the block, but I have some memories of a wonderful time I shared with my son.  Memories are going to help make this Christmas in this strange, crazy, wonderful place feel like Christmas (and like home) and I am so happy to have started making them.


Rachel said...

Make sure to post a picture of the tree! I know it is not what you have in mind but I think the idea is actually a great one. We are borrowing a play yard baby gate to put around our tree b/c Gabe is loving all the lights and ornaments. If it wasn't for this gate our tree would be out on the porch LOL

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