And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving and the Tao of Holiday Decorating with OCD

Thanksgiving was pretty good. After cooking (and taste-testing) a full meal for my guys at work, I came home to finish straightening up the place and re-arranging our furniture. Dinner was at 1pm, and my folks and brother came. I was soooooo excited! Dad and I tried to listen to Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie (family tradition). I ended up turning it off, since there were just too many people talking and the volume kept going up and UP and UP. Mom got down on the floor and played "tickle war" with the Sprouts.

Mom was holding Little Sprout, and Dad was holding my grand-sprout (yes, they are about 6 months apart. Don't remind me).

Little Sprout got a little cranky, trying to gouge out grand-sprout's eyes and yelling, so we assumed that she wanted to be with Grandpa. So laps and babies were switched.

Unfortunately, it appears that Little Sprout didn't like that arrangement, either. It seems that Grandma and Grandpa are hers EXCLUSIVELY, and she has no intentions of sharing them with anyone. Especially not her nephew.

I decided to head off any further attempts at murder by feeding everyone. Pea salad was the favorite for DH, Big Sprout, and Little Sprout (thanks MIL).

Look at those cheeks!

And so, Barefoot Mommy saved the day once again.

That brings us to today.

Normally, I wait only long enough for the last Thanksgiving guest to walk out the door before hauling out all my winter holiday decorations. I LOVE decorating for the holidays. I firmly believe that it is one of the few redeeming features of a MN winter. I have tons and tons of decorations...... See?

What you can't really tell by this photo is that the pile is 3 boxes deep. as in there are two more stacks of boxes behind this one.

Back to my story. I am already a day behind in my holiday decorating, so the minute I got home, I started hauling all these boxes from the storage room (on the 3RD FLOOR), and got the trees out of the garage. Ummm, yes I have more than one tree, and yes I use more than one at a time. Space is not a consideration when it comes to holiday decorating. After all, who needs to move?

My holiday decorating has become a long-running (and, I feel, highly over-rated) joke in my family. See, I am just a little obsessive-compulsive when it comes to my decorating. I do themes. I don't think I go wildly overboard. I just like it to be pretty. My favorite color scheme is cream and gold, and I always use lots and LOTS and LOTS of clear lights. I tend to go with either understated elegance or a totally natural look. I like it that way.

Well, last year while doing my annual after-christmas decoration shopping, I took pity on my poor DH (whose holiday style is much more....ahem....colorful than mine and bought a pre-lit tree with colored lights.

It obviously does NOT fit into my normal scheme. I immediately realised that very few of my ornaments would fit on this colorful (oh, heck, it's GAWDY, for crying out loud!) tree. My beautiful gold filigree and glass tree topper was in no way going to look right on this tree, and neither would any of my subtly shimmering ball ornaments, or my glass angels, or my iridescent snowflakes. So I went to the thrift store, and for about $20 (including a donation to the food pantry), I did this to the tree.

You can't really tell from the photo, but on this tree is red, yellow, white, blue, purple, green, and teal. There are santas and stockings and reindeer and snowmen etc. etc. DH is more happy with this one colorful tree than he ever has been with any of my previous painstaking efforts to create the perfect tree.


So I decided to throw out all the rules.

These are my santas.....

and my snowmen....

and my angels.....

and my beautiful snow village....

DH absolutely loves it.

So does Little Sprout.

Maybe this colorful thing isn't so bad after all.


Deb said...

BG, your family is so much more lucky than mine! I mean, my version of Christmas decorating means forgetting where the decorations are in storage (not a problem this year), then frantically hauling them out the day before Christmas, and cutting a small spruce from our land, and getting hives from it (yes, I won't be cutting any more spruce!) and enduring the spouse's Xmas-phobia. Maybe I'll haul some lights out tomorrow. :)

Lisa said...

I with you, sistah! I love clear lights and color themes. DH and girls like colored lights (which I don't know, always seemed kinda redneck to me!) I'm on a purple, blue and gold theme these last few years. Probably this year too.

I usually start setting up the tree on Thanksgiving Day. It always takes so long that if I wait too much, I am taking it down about the time I get the last touches on the tree!

This year is different. I will get to it this weekend, i swear! Just feeling a bit lazy today.

lorraine uk said...

Just wanted to say love the photo of little sprout by the xmas tree.
I always read your blog its so honest and open, i normally dont comment.

Lorraine uk

barefoot gardener said...

Thank you! It is so sweet of you to say so.

Don't feel bad about the lack of decorations, the season is about more than that. I can tell you have a deep appreciation and love for your family that you show them on a regular basis, and that is more important than some lights and tinsel.


You know, I have a friend who wants her actual tree to be purple. I told her to just buy a regular tree and paint it. Hehe.

DH was very happy I bought a pre-lit tree. He hates that it can take me 6 hours of wrapping, cussing, and crying to get just the LIGHTS on the tree. Of course, even on my worst year I light my tree better than this one, but I do have to admit that this way is MUCH easier!


I am so glad you "de-lurked"! Thank you for the wonderful compliment. I like to know people enjoy what I have to say. I really like the photo of Little Sprout, too. I used a different setting on my camera, which made it all reddish, and I really like the way it turned out!

RuthieJ said...

That was a fun post, BG! The pictures from Thanksgiving were cute. Lil Sprout definitely knows what she wants, doesn't she?

I just love all your Christmas decorations. Kitty likes to climb my big tree and so I now decorate only 1 small tree until Kitty is no longer with us.

I really like your last picture too. The look of wonder on Lil Sprout's face is so precious.

Kati said...

I LOVE colored lights!!!! A couple of years after my mom & middle sis left home for the far reaches, my baby sis decided that since she was going to decorate the tree at Dad's house HER way, she was going to toss all the fabulous "old" ornaments we grew up with: handmade ornaments from Germany when my parents were stationed there; handmade ornaments we kids made; handmade ornaments my mom bought at craft bazaars..... I rescued the not-broken ones in time & have been using them on my tree since. I love the multi-colored lights, the hand-made ornaments, the coziness of a less-than-perfect looking tree. My sister's tree that year looked so cold & boring with clear lights & red & gold ribbon & ball ornaments from K-mart. VERY uninspiring! Nothing like the big colorful mish-mash tree I remember curling up under as a kid. (I'd get up a little earlier than normal, grab an afghan, and go turn on the tree lights to slowly blinking, and curl up under the tree & just watch the lights for 10 minutes while I woke up more.)

I LOVE that you get all your ornaments out the day after thanksgiving!!!! It's going to be a good couple of weeks yet before I can persuade the DH to bring our tree in from the shed, much less get the darn thing put together & decorated. Though, he DID hang Christmas lights on the front of the house yesterday, after 8 years in this place without outside christmas lights.

Thanks for sharing all the pics with us!!!! And I'm glad to see y'all had a good Thanksgiving!!!