Category Archives: Christmas Tree

Christmas Morning Tradition

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Christmas Morning Tradition

Every child in the county
will soon approach their Christmas bounty,
transformed from box-shaker and gaper
into a dervish, tearing paper.
Opening tablets, games and dolls,
jumping ropes and basketballs,
until that ultimate stage is reached—
that final Christmas custom breached.
Each child will have the astounding gall
of querying with, “Is that all?”

The prompt today was “bounty.”

“Seasonal” Sunday Trees, Dec. 18, 2016

It seemed fitting that the mountain goat would be at the top of the tree. Click on first photo to enlarge all.

 

https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/sunday-trees-266

No Time for Moody

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What me, moody?  No time to be so.  Spent four hours decorating the Christmas tree last night.  Unfortunately, seems as though when Yolanda packed up the ornaments for me last year—very carefully, wrapping each one (but neglecting to put them in their regular boxes so I had two large cartons of empty boxes as well as one large carton of neatly wrapped ornaments) she also just cut the hanging loops off with the result that none of the 200 or more ornaments had anything to hang them from.  Plus, she seems to have thrown away the wire hangers the loops hung from, so not only did I need to cut and form 200 hangers from wire, but also figure out how to attach them!  I did so appreciate her untrimming the tree last year, but this year I think I’ll just cover it with plastic and store it in the laundry room!  Save hours next year.  (I didn’t mention untangling 4 long strands of Xmas lights to discover only one worked.)

But I’m not moody.  No time to be so.  Especially since after two days of painting the bathroom I discovered that the cement window frame I’d worked hours on to gouge out and sand away all the salitre, treat with vinegar, dry with fans, treat with Sin Salitre, dry overnight with fans, then fill with white cement, had one problem.  The day after I completed this three day process (due to need to dry completely,) when I ran a cloth over the job, it came off covered with powder.  I then used my hand.  Covered with white powder.  Commenced coughing coughing coughing from the dust.

Then a light bulb went on over my head.  I must have filled the holes with grout rather than cement!  They look exactly the same, and when Pasiano neglected to find the white cement for me, I went to find it myself in the garage and got a bag of grout instead.  Damn.  This would mean sanding it out, more dust, more coughing.  So, I found a bottle of grout sealant and  painted it on.  When it dries, I’m going to go ahead and paint over it anyway.  If it doesn’t work, I’ll do the job right after Xmas

My best friends will arrive to spend Xmas with me in 3 days.  28 people coming for a Xmas day potluck, need to visit Guadalajara to buy the ham and rolls and other party fare. Still need to find a place for all the retablos still residing on my dining room table.  Carpenter came today to take my kitchen island to fix so all of it’s drawers residing in different places on my counter top and dining room floor.  Two more boxes of Xmas decorations to find and no idea where they are hiding out, bathroom to finish painting, spare room full of material that was put upstairs during retiling and that needs to be put away. Lights and papel picado to string up, Nacimientos to set out, manger to assemble.

But moody?  No way.  I have no time to be moody.  Above is the Xmas tree I decorated last night.  It’s beginning to feel a lot like Xmas.  I did Aguinaldos (Christmas Bonuses) and gifts for Pasiano and Yolanda, wrapped up a Hello Kitty notebook for Yoli and a new laptop computer for Oscar, filled Xmas stockings for Marti and Patty, my looooooong time  friends who are visiting . (So excited they’ll be here for Xmas.)  Yes.  definitely, Xmas is in the air, as full of dust as it may be, as cluttered and stacked up and makeshift as it may be.  In three days all will be perfect.  And it is also perfect that all this activity leaves no room for moodiness.  Moody? Me? Never.

 

 

The prompt today is “moody.”

Christmastime Construction Blues

Christmastime Construction Blues

Two weeks of this insanity,
computer balanced on my knee,
desk packed under a canopy
with all I own? A tragedy!

Two weeks of the cacophony
of saw and chisel harmony.
Two weeks since I’ve been tile-dust-free,
yet still the end I do not see.

I lay here in a reverie,

dreaming of my Christmas tree,
but I fear it will never be
with all this mess surrounding me.

Chafing with the indignity,
I call my contractor, but he
merely tells me “I fear we
must order more tile,”—a travesty!

In boxes are a panoply
of ornaments from A to Z,
yet this year I fear they’ll not be
hung on any Christmas tree!

The prompt word today was “panoply.”

(Click on first photo to enlarge all and see captions.)

Oddball Christmas

Oddball Christmas! Cee’s Oddball Challenge, Dec. 24, 2015

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Covering All the Bases

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It’ll be a Blue Christmas Without You

http://ceenphotography.com/2015/12/20/cees-odd-ball-photo-challenge-2015-week-51/

Believe

Believe

I don’t know of anyone who loves Christmas as much as my mother did. She could barely wait for Thanksgiving to be over to put up her tree. Those trees were covered with icicles, bubble lights, angel hair and boxes and boxes of ornaments saved and added to over the years: blue or pink plastic birds whose legs fit over the branches so they seemed to be standing on them, a treetop angel with spun white hair and a face cracked and marbled over with age, strands of large lights and later dozens of strands of miniature ones, homemade ornaments, glass balls, plastic stars, candy canes—each year the number of ornaments grew. The tree was always fresh and the largest she could find, screwed into the Christmas tree holder that held water to keep the needles from falling off for as long as possible.

Under the tree was always a skirt of White pull-apart Christmas “snow,” a plastic church that lit up inside and presents, presents, presents: handmade gifts from the church bazaar, clothes and toys purchased in Pierre, 60 miles away or ordered from the Montgomery Wards or Sears catalogs. The tree went up the day after Thanksgiving and came down only after the new year had arrived, but the pine needles in the carpet crevasses and its borders along the wall remained like hidden memories to be discovered for months afterwards.

The year my mother died, my sister Patti could not bear to think of putting up a tree or celebrating Christmas. I was far away in Mexico and it was the first year in her life that she hadn’t celebrated Christmas with my mother. I knew she was grieving, but I was deep in my own sadness of the past year. In January, I had a hysterectomy and on the day I returned from the hospital, I learned that my mother had gone into the hospital.

My doctor had forbidden air travel but we considered putting a mattress in the back of the van and having my husband drive me from California to Wyoming, but my sister assured me there was no need. It was nothing serious—just a bout of pneumonia. We’d been there for Christmas less than a month before and we could come again once my mother returned home from the hospital.

But that trip was never to be experienced, for within a week, my mother had passed away. In March, my husband Bob flew to Michigan to be with his mother who had gone into the hospital, and after ten days, she, too, passed away. Then in September, two days before we were to drive down to Mexico to move into our new house, Bob discovered he had cancer and lived just three weeks. All-in-all, a sad year that had been moderated by our happiness in looking forward to a new life in Mexico.

A few months after Bob’s death, I went forward into that new life, but my sister was left in the town where she and her husband lived and where my mother had lived for the last six years of her life. Everything around her reminded her of my mother; and with the advent of Christmas, those memories grew more poignant.

The small Wyoming town where my sister lives is two hours south of Billings, Montana, which is her usual shopping town and where she goes to get her hair cut and to the doctor. A few weeks before Christmas, when a friend asked her to accompany her on a shopping trip there, she agreed. Even though her heart was not in it, as they browsed in a local store, she bought a few items, paid for them with her credit card and carried the bag to the car.

It was not until she got home and unpacked the bag that she found the small  package in the bottom of her bag. She unwrapped it, trying to figure out just what it was––nothing, surely, that she had purchased. As she removed the final layer of paper, this is what was revealed:

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Where had it come from? How had it gotten into the bag? She had not purchased it. It was not listed on her receipt. Nor had her friend purchased it, so it wasn’t a case of the clerk putting it in the wrong bag.  Was it the last Christmas miracle provided by a mother who over the years had so faithfully purchased the new boxes of fragile icicles to hang above wrapped boxes that contained dolls, new Christmas dresses, ice skates, princess phones, bottles of bubble bath or miniature formals for our favorite dolls? Skunk games and paper dolls and books, first watches, necklaces, music boxes and drop seat pajamas? With no other explanation, my sister could not help but consider that perhaps it was a little message from my mother, urging her not to give up her faith in and enjoyment of Christmas.

It has been fourteen years since my mother died, and my sister has hung the ornament on her tree every Christmas since. It has been a few years since I spent Christmas with her, and I had forgotten this story, but yesterday, when I arrived in Phoenix to spend Christmas and took pictures of her tree, she repeated the story again.

Her tree is miniature in comparison with my mother’s tree, but it is infused with my mother’s love of Christmas and everything it entails —a childlike sense of wonder that to this very day, my mother encourages us to share. Tonight, as my sister and I fill stockings for each other, her husband Jim and the longtime friends who will arrive tomorrow, I’m sure she feels as I do––both of us “good girls” who are minding our mother by remembering to BELIEVE in the magic of Christmas.

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For more Christmas trees around the world, see: http://silverthreading.com/2015/12/06/christmas-trees-around-the-world/

and, consider posting a picture of your tree-topper HERE in Hugh’s blog to provide a meal for a hungry dog.

My Sister’s Xmas

My Sister’s Xmas
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IMG_0058 IMG_9965 IMG_9963 IMG_9962 IMG_9956 IMG_9932 IMG_9924 IMG_9922 IMG_9912 IMG_9908 IMG_9907 Version 2 IMG_9905 IMG_9903 IMG_9900 IMG_9896 IMG_9891My sister’s ultra modern house (black and white with touches of desert) is the opposite of mine but beautiful, I think. Her closets are less cluttered as well!  Merry Christmas, everyone!!

http://silverthreading.com/2015/12/06/christmas-trees-around-the-world/

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2015/12/13/hughs-photo-challenge-week-8-charity-christmas-tree-topper-challenge-help-me-raise-250-for-the-dogs-trust/