Saturday, December 29, 2007

A hunting we will go

It's been a while since I have had the opportunity to blog and as I was waking up today my mind was on all the Christmas shopping that is left to do.

I know that for most people in this world they finish their shopping well in advance and each year I have good intentions of being just like the norm, however in my world there always seems to be interruptions that stop the process. I thought that I would take the time to share some of my shopping experiences with you.

I usually like to have a shopping list but some years there seems to be no good ideas, so when I go to do the Christmas shopping it becomes a hunt. That is a very dangerous things for me because in the hunt I seem to find things that I need and often they seem like buys that I can't pass up.

A number of years ago, when my children were just getting to the age where they had their own money with which to shop it never cross my mind that they may shop for me. That was my first year of making the shopping blooper of buying something that was to good to pass by. My kids faces dropped when I got home and revealed the find of lifetime. A little while later they approached me and asked me if I would mind not buying anything more before Christmas. I felt terrible and have never made that blunder again until this year. I just bought myself pj's that are just the greatest. That was one of my list items so I am sure hoping that no one thought of, or saw the great buy that these were. If any of you have done so that's okay, I'd love to have pj's and could still use one more pair.

Lists are the most important part of Christmas shopping. Well this year has been hopeless. I have already given two kids their gifts because they were going to make the Christmas blooper and buy the item just before Christmas. So what's a person to do but give it early. It now makes me feel like I have not completed the shopping thing. I can't imagine what it will be like to open gifts without everyone having at least one big gift. So, my hunt goes on.

Since I started this blog on Dec. 20th, we have opened gifts and guess what? You guessed it, I almost made two bloopers this year. My pj's were #1 and the almost #2 was my Tim Horton's coffee maker. I had this item on my list thinking that no one would give it to me and guess what, my kids did.

We didn't celebrate our Christmas til today, Dec. 29, because all the kids were away for the 25th. In that time while they were away we had company staying and everyday that they were here, which was every day til today, I planned to go out and buy my coffee maker. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that the line in Timmy's is so long that the wait goes on forever. With so much happening each day I couldn't take the time to wait in line. (My company had to have coffee from my substandard coffee maker.) I had a good chuckle when I opened my gift and there was my coffee maker. All I could think of was that I almost made the Christmas blooper two times this year.

By the way, my Christmas turned out to be one of the best. Next year I am hoping to have my list so that my hunting will be just for those who I love and not for me. Hope your Christmas hunting was successful and that your Christmas was great.

I hope to catch up with you again in the next few days, if not "Happy New Year!"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Reader's Digest or a Novel?

I have come to realize as I have been posting these last few times that I am becoming a novel in my posts.

Around our house we have this saying that when you go on and on about the details of something, you are giving the novel version of the topic. This came about when my Hubby one day was listening to me tell what ever was utmost important to me that particular day and stopped me in the middle to ask, "could you give me the Reader's Digest version and not a novel? I have things that I have to get done." Since that time it has been a part of how we assess a persons personality.

I am a novel and like to have all the details plus feelings and anything that may have led up to that important moment. I like to know all and when I tell things tend to think that others would like my novel version as well. My Hubby, on the other hand is a Reader's Digest version. He likes to get all the facts in the condensed version of what ever is happening. He likes to solve problems and the facts will give him all the info he needs to get the job done.

So I find myself wondering if those of you who take the time to read these blogs are Reader Digists or Novels? I'd love to know.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Deck The Halls"

I thought that it would be appropriate to follow "Oh Christmas Tree" with this topic of decorating the halls of our homes for the most exciting time of year.

I don't know about you but for me Christmas is my favorite time. It is the time when I get the warm fuzzies and my emotional side tends to show up. I work hard to get the atmosphere just right. I have my little villages that I set up and different ornaments that help to give that feeling of kicking back and sinking into a stress free time of the year.

Here is the funny part of that last statement. "Stress free". The actual days of Christmas break are mostly stress free for me but the decking of the halls are not. I must say that this year it has gone well so far but it hasn't always been that way.

Most families have their traditions around decorating the Christmas Tree. Well, so do we. Ours has always been a family thing. We decorate the tree on the Sunday as close to the beginning of Dec. that will fit our schedule. When the kids were home we would go out and pick out our tree from the tree lot. (No traipsing through the forest for us. We did try that one year and found that we didn't like the cold that much, besides we also don't have an eye for sizing.) It would then unthaw for a couple of days and when that next available day hit we would decorate in the late afternoon, early evening. We then topped the evening off by watching the old Alastair Sim movie "A Christmas Carol". That was a family tradition. The decking of the tree was always interesting. Hubby would put the star and lights on first, then the kids and I would join in with the decorations. The finishing touch to the tree was the tinsel. Hubby would insist that it be put on one strand at a time. (What he doesn't know is that I would do the back of the tree and speed up the process up by increasing the numbers, moving around the tree as he moved so that we were always opposite.) Anyway, when it was done we would stand back turn off all the lights and admire our handy work. The joke for the rest of the season was that Mom was always poking in the tree and fixing things.

For a number of years now we have been without kids. They all grew up and left us so now the tradition is left to, you guessed it, Hubby and I. As a matter of fact it is mostly I. Somehow as the years have progressed I've become a little pickier about how the tree looks.

Last year it took me about 6 hrs. to get the 400 or so lights just right. It started out with Hubby and I doing it together and when he got frustrated with me fixing his efforts, he gave up. I was working away, grumbling about how I don't like putting on lights when I realized that I was alone and there on the couch was Hubby sound asleep. That does absolutely nothing for the warm fuzzies. Well, we did get the job done and that tree was absolutely beautiful. What we came to realize was that although we think that doing the tree is a special tradition we have changed with our tastes on what is acceptable for a tree to look like. I a little pickier and Hubby a little more relaxed. That adds a little more tension to the process, thus making the heart warming feelings a little less visible.

This is the reason that I was out looking for the perfect tree this year. One that was artificial, full enough to not see through, and had lights already in it. It worked, and you will be pleased to know that the decking of the tree this year was much more fun and alot less stressful because the lights were not an issue.

I am almost done creating the "Christmas Cheer" inside the house. All that is left is the downstairs tree in the family room. One job that I tackle by myself because Hubby thinks that one tree is enough of the warm fuzzies. It's all he can take each year. I, on the other hand, feel like I need a decorated tree in the family room because we spend so much of our time there. I love the feel that colored lights on a tree give the room.

So, I will go about my merry way and continue to "Deck the halls......." and attempt to get just the right atmosphere so that for a few days it will feel like Christmas, and when it is all over will be glad that I took the time.

I sure hope that you are having fun decking your halls and creating "Christmas Cheer" in your homes.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Oh Christmas Tree"

I don't know about you but I have a thing about the perfect Christmas tree. I realize that it is impossible to get that right but in my head there exists the perfect tree.

When our children were at home we always had real trees and they always looked like Charlie Browns Christmas Trees. One year I had to lengthen the string on the ornaments so that they could hang far enough down to hid the missing branches. Once we even had to turn the tree so that the back wouldn't show because there really wasn't much tree there. We did manage to put a few ornaments on that back side so that it gave the illusion from the front that there was a full tree. Anyway, there I'm off topic, this is about buying the right tree. The decorating will probably be a later blog cause that in and of itself is quite a feat.

We have been having an artificial tree for quite a few years. It happened the year we left our Christmas tree buying til the last possible moment and all the choice we had was from about 4 trees in our price range. They were really sticks with a few branches and the weather had been so warm that year that most of the pine needles had fallen off. In fact, they we ready to start taking on the brownish hue that happens after they've been in your house for a couple of weeks and managed to dry out a few times. WELL, that is when my dear hubby broke down and bought us this beautiful expensive artificial tree. The artificial trees had been bought out as well, no options of anything cheaper. What we don't do for Christmas. But Christmas isn't Christmas without a tree.

We have enjoyed our fake tree for many years now and this year I felt that it was time to move on to something new. There were two reasons for this decision; the light issue and the fact that when I fluff the branches they are falling off. You guessed it, we were moving into the Charlie Brown nightmare again.

I decided to replace both the upstairs and the downstairs trees. In my hunt I came across one in a store and I ordered one off the catalogue site. Well, here's the skinny on what I found. You should only buy the ones that you can see so that you know what you are getting.

Tree #1: Looked pretty good but I could still see the center pole. Has 450 colored lights threaded in and costs under $100.00. This is very good news for my basement.
Tree #2: Looks more real with the needles but I can see the centre pole. It has 550 color lights threaded through but there are holes everywhere. This tree may be brighter than tree #1 but it is 3 times the cost.

As you can imagine, tree #2 is back in its box and will shortly be on it way back home to the warehouse, where ever that may be.

On a side note, I can imagine that our neighbours must really wonder about us. I didn't pull the blinds closed because the trees were set up and back against the window. There we were with our two trees, lights a blazing, in our living room and our neighbours probably thinking "over kill".

Anyway, I'm on my way to see if there is another tree that is a little fuller, artificial, lighted with color lights, and at least 1/2 the price of tree #2.

Wish me luck! If you have not found your perfect tree yet, here's to your hunt. Cheers!

By the way if you are successful in finding the perfect tree please let me know how you did it. And if you find yourself in the same dilemma that I'm in, it would be comforting to know that you are out there, experiencing the pressure of getting Christmas just right.

"Oh Christmas Tree...Oh Christmas la la la la la la la."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hey, Cinderella

Once upon a time there was a beautiful maiden who had an ugly schedule that made her do all the chores and never let her out of the house. Then one day she got the chance to go to the ball but because of all the work she had to do she didn't find time to get ready until the very last minute. In the rush of the moment Cinderella grabbed her dress and shoes and ran to the ball so she could help put on the finishing touches to the evening. As she bustled around the room adding just the perfect touch to the already beautiful room, she looked down and noticed that she had two different shoes. One black, one blue. Horrified at the situation and what others would think when they realized how unaccustomed she was to such occasions she started to panic, and then rather than cry she saw the humor in this situation. Giggling to herself she realized that she needed a prince to come and present the matching shoe that would make her a real princess.

So, getting on her trusty cell phone (thank goodness for technology) she roamed the city for a prince with a little red car that could come and rescue her. Realizing that it may be hard for the prince to find this elusive shoe Cinderella engaged the help of the prince's trusted aid, who being female understood what a shoe of that color and style would look like.

Cinderella hoped the prince would come quickly bringing the shoe that would fit her foot, thus, showing the world that underneath the plain ordinary look of this "chore maid" there really did exist a princess.

When the prince came along and let her slip that blue shoe on her foot there was no doubt that she could then face all those at the ball with confidence. No more stooping so her dress would cover her unmatched feet. No more walking past guests quickly hoping that they wouldn't look down and see just how inexperienced she really was at preparing her attire for such a ball. It was a moment in which Cinderella could hold her head high and walk with confidence, knowing that the night would turn out just right. And so it did.

Cinderella thanked the prince for coming to her rescue and for rescuing her again when later she found herself the victim in another situation. She had nowhere to turn and the gallant prince flew on swift feet to rescue the moment.

To this prince of the ball, Cinderella will forever be grateful and she will love him forever, as only a mother could. The gratitude will be in her heart for as long as she lives. It will please you to know that Cinderella lived happily ever after because of the prince's selfless heart.

And that is "THE END" of the story.

Isn't it nice to know that in our lives there are princes that come and rescue us. They may not be the prince you marry and they may not always be a man, but there are times in all our lives where we all need to have a prince to get us out of those awkward moments that we find ourselves in.

How about you, have you had a Cinderella experience?