Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Tree Rules

A Christmas story about my Mother-in-Law:

(This is NOT my Mother-in-Law's house)

My Mother-in-Law loved Christmas. She would start looking for Hallmark ornaments as soon as the catalog came out. 

(This is NOT my Mother-in-Law's house)

My first Christmas in the family, she was very sweet and gave me her miniature ornaments. In January she died suddenly, two months before my oldest kid was born. Buying miniature ornaments has been a 20 year tradition. 

A Christmas story about my Grandmother:
(This is NOT my Grandmother's house)

My grandma was an artist and she was exceptional at making paper-mache figures. She also loved fairies, elves and pixies and wrote children's stories that she illustrated. She grew up in a poor family (as did most kids at that time) with an older brother and several younger siblings. 

(This is NOT my Grandmother's house)

During the year, she would collect all the paper she could to make ornaments. Late on Christmas Eve she would go out with her brother to see if any trees were leftover at the tree lots.

The ornaments I remember on my grandmother's tree were cardinals made with painted cotton bodies and tiny paper-mache heads along with a collection of paper-mache elves. She made each elf with a unique expression, placing her elves way beyond anything in the realm of creepy Shelf Elf. 

A Christmas story about my Mom:

(This is NOT my Mother's house)

My mom also loves Christmas and most years she has a Christmas project, stockings being the most ambitious. She made all of us large felt stocking shaped like animals with layers of colored felt for the expressions.  

A Christmas story about my Grandfather: 

(This is NOT my Grandfather's house)

One year my grandfather explained the Christmas tree rules. Rule One: all trees on the lot will need to be looked at. 

(This is NOT my Grandfather's house)

Rule Two: The chosen tree will be taller than the living room ceiling. Rule Three: The tree cannot be cut. Rule Four: The hole cut in the ceiling to accommodate the tree cannot be used next year. 

A Christmas story about Me: 

(This NOT my house . . . but it should be!)

I've determined that the 15 minutes it takes to put up the pre-lit tree is the extent of my household festivities. 

Not that I don't have an appreciation for unique and time consuming holiday decor . . . 

I do! 

However this house wins the War on Christmas. Good thinking! 

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