Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Housewifin'

Well, things to bake and fudge to make and presents to wrap and suitcases to pack and on top of that I've got to get really busy focusing on my dad's and my father-in-law's poor health, so until I'm ready to put the housewife back on the shelf, I shall remain absent.

I'll check in after Christmas.

Happy Holidays to you, whatever holiday(s) you celebrate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I usually post this on my art blog, but this year, I'm putting it here!

It's the annual "Send a Real Christmas Card" post.

I'm hoping everyone heeds my advice this year, and hoping that it's not too late:

I received the first card of the season the other day. It was festive and handmade by a child. I loved it.

It's pretty much what a Christmas card should be. Perhaps I should call them Holiday cards, since Christmas might not be the winter holiday you celebrate.

Regardless of what you call them, I do have certain likes and dislikes regarding them.

I like them pretty. Cute is o.k. Religious is fine. Snow scenes, glitter, candles, pop-ups, confetti, musical, trees, bunnies, reindeer, Mary, Jesus, Star of the East, gilded, triple-fold, elves, Santa Claus, Saint Francis, birds, are all just dandy.

If I know you well enough, I also appreciate the annual newsletter. I really do want to know (if I like you) where you went on vacation, who got braces or a promotion or straight A's or knocked up. If granny came to live with you, please tell me. If junior has developed a wheat allergy tell me. If that worthless b@stard has left you for another woman tell me and we'll get together and drink some wine. But please do me a favor. Tuck this newsletter into a lovely Holiday card.

If I like you, I will probably like your children. Granted, they may be pesky at times. I really do want to know about them. I actually want pictures of them. School photos are great. Group photos taken at Walmart are good too. But . . . BUT . . . just insert these photos into a lovely card.

I know how convenient it is to make the photo the card itself. But when I display my Holiday cards, I don't want just photos of kids looking at me. I want to see the pretty cards. I want to take the little photos you insert and put them with the other photos you have sent me through the years. After the holidays, I will file them away with the others from previous years and be astonished at how they have grown. Or, perhaps, your kids will have the honor of being displayed on my fridge for the year. If you send me one of those big ole photo cards, its just going to be tossed. How much room do you think I have to store those big photos? Very little. So those big ole photo cards of your offspring will just get tossed away with half-licked candy canes after Christmas is over. That makes me feel bad. But just not bad enough to create extra storage space.

I also know that no one is going to take my advice. You all went to the photo shop back in early October with your red and green scarves and mittens and posed for your Holiday cards. Too late now.

Hubby and I met up for lunch the other day and we did our Christmas card shopping. I chose bears in the winter woods full of bright red Cardinals. Hubby chose some pop up owls in Christmas hats. Whether the recipients like them or not, we chose cards that say something about us. And it will say something about you -- that we think you're great and we want to make your Holiday even better. And tucked inside will be a little photo of our wonderful, gorgeous, achieving, talented, loving, gifted, precious, awe-inspiring child.

I'm sure I've offended a few people out there. I've probably been furiously scratched from your Holiday card list. Even more likely, you will still send out that big ole photo card anyway, whether or not you read this blog.

I know your children are wonderful, gorgeous, achieving, talented, loving, gifted, precious, and awe-inspiring. Just tuck their photo (or perhaps a photo of the entire family, including pets) inside a show-stopping Holiday card that I will proudly display.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Carol of the Balls

This time of year, that old Christmas tune "Carol of the Bells" darts through my brain and often out of my lips dozens of times each day.

But after unwrapping my Christmas ornaments yesterday, it is all about the balls.

Is it silly that this ornament above (and its gold and green mates) are my favorite ornaments? I have two trees loaded with animal, bird, and Santa ornaments. Ornate vintage balls from antique shops. Lovely ornament gifts from all over the world. But these are the most important.

Back in the winter of 1950, my parents were newlyweds. Newlyweds with little money. My mother went to the five and dime store and brought several dozen boxes of inexpensive glass balls, a bottle of glue, and 3 bottles of glitter. These balls were the mainstay of their Christmas trees until my sister and I came along. Eventually, we loaded up the tree with our own little misguided Christmas crafts. Every now and then, a ball would come crashing to the ground. It still happens.

When my sister and I went off to college, my mother decided it was time for a color-theme tree. Peach and gold and white it would be. The original red, green and gold ornaments were divided up and remained in boxes until my sister and I had our own homes. I'm not sure how many ornaments survive at my sister's house, but I think I'm down to 12-14. I'm hoping to have enough to pass on to my daughter one of these years.

There are still a few ornaments left to hang, mostly these special balls. I'm dreading that awful little smashing sound that is inevitable each year, but I'm off to hang them up and remember the woman that made them.