Wednesday, December 15, 2010
There's this thing about moving, this constant stretching and flexing of your decorator muscles. You learn to be adaptable with your furniture and open minded regarding your wall art. Because just because those three framed sailboat pictures looked great in your former guest room, doesn't mean they're going to work in the new one. And although you may have had an uncanny affection for the black and cream swirled shower curtain, it just doesn't pull through for you in a green bathroom. Or maybe you ended up with a couple hundred square feet that you never had before and no way to fill them. Been there.
Well it's the same way with Christmas decorations. We pulled out the several tubs that used to overwhelm our Beach Nest with yuletide charm and realized the impact was much less significant in our Burb Nest. Now I personally feel the worst time to buy Christmas decor is the weeks leading up to Christmas, so I tried to curb my enthusiasm and just work with what we have. We cranked up Bing Crosby's Christmas albums and spread out the cheer, a little thinner than in year's past, but just as delightful. Welcome to Christmas 2010 in the Burb Nest:
We'll start with the tree. Our best one yet remember? We got several compliments on it from our party-attendees, which was lovely since it cost a small fortune. We decided to put the tree in the front room because it has a big empty spot where I was hoping to put a piano, a dream that will likely remain unfulfilled. Plus I'm all about seeing trees from windows and this is the best place where strangers walking by can catch a glimpse of our masterpiece. I adore Christmas trees because I love looking at the ornaments. There's always a few with special meanings or funny stories, and you can learn a lot about a family by studying their Christmas tree.
For instance, you may notice that one person in this family enjoys their coffee:
Or that plastic photo frame Christmas tree ornaments were very popular in the late 80's:
My aunt got us one of these guys each year in the last decade. It's one of Jack's personal favorites because it's an owl. I'm not sure why, but he's really into owls lately. Whenever I get a text or voicemail on my phone it makes this little chirpy sound, which apparently sounds very much like an owl to my 2 year old because he walks around the house saying "Owl, owl" everytime my phone goes off.
This is one of my favorite ornaments, when you press a button it's a recording of 2 month old Jack laughing. The first time I listened to it this year I got tears in my eyes. I'm so that mom.
One year my mom made Cabbage Patch caricatures of her 3 kids. Since I was taking dance classes at the time mine was a ballerina. Several years later one of the eyes fell off. It's a big family joke now that my ornament only has one eye since I'm technically legally blind in my left eye. Real funny huh?
Then there's this hot number. Ow ow! I bet the kids are going to be fighting over who gets to hang this one up in about 10 years or so ...
Onto the rest of the house, on our coffee table are the "peace" candle holders.
And in case you think I'm crazy for placing candles at the hand-level of a 2 year old ... they're electric tea lights!
Kid proof... or so I thought. Looks like our budding engineer got to this one!
Since we have an actual fireplace and mantel with hooks this year (!!) our beloved bookcase has turned into a "throw all the leftover Christmas decorations here" place. It doesn't flow very well, but I haven't had time to really think it all over anyway.
In the dining room, we opted for a tablerunner this time around, it's much easier to keep free of smudgy hands but unfortunately doesn't work so well for peek-a-boo.
One thing we (read Jon) did break down and buy was a small Christmas tree for the den, since we didn't want it to feel left out. It worked out well for stocking stuffers too since our stockings aren't really meeting the need at this point.
These are the pine cones we collected in our Virginia Beach neighborhood 2 Christmases ago.
And this was a gift from my brother Micah a few years ago. He usually puts it together for me each year at Thanksgiving, but I was on my own this year. And I had to do it, and re-do it, 4 times before it finally looked right. Uncle Micah is definitely the artist in the family.
And of course we had to do something for the kiddos. I saw some adorable garland in Land of Nod. It was pretty pricey, and I knew I could replicate it myself. So I did.
Jack enjoys pointing out "kiss-mus tee" and "fosty".
The mistletoe we bought our first Christmas together was a bagful of mistle crumbles this year, so we quick picked up a replacement at 5 Below. Here's hoping this one gets more of a response than its predecessor.
Apparently having a yard means decking that out too. Jon had way too much fun hanging up lights. Actually I think he gets a bigger kick out of organizing the cords and outlets. He's rigged up all our Christmas lights so that they turn on with one click of the remote. It's very convenient.
And it wouldn't be Christmas with a houseful of boys if we didn't have an electric train. Jack is probably too young for this, and Jude definitely is, but their Dad thought it was an essential addition. And of course Jack just loves it. He's constantly asking to play with "choo choo." I personally, do not find trains that much fun. You put it together, watch it go around in a circle, and then spend more time fixing it than actually "playing" with it. Must be a guy thing. We obviously get a lot of use out of this bad boy since we've only had it two weeks and already had to replace the batteries twice.
Now, some of you have asked how Jack is handling all the "touchables." Well, it's surprisingly going much better than last year. We've been working on "first time obedience" in our house lately. And although I'd much rather Jack not touch certain things at all, if he immediately stops when I say "no" I think that's pretty good. Actually, it usually goes like this: Jack touches ornament, Mommy says "Jaaack", Jack waves finger and says "No, no!" to himself. So yeah, I think he gets the idea.
We did have a problem with him opening gifts in the very beginning, but after 3 incidents - one which involved Jack half-opening Daddy's gift, and then running to the office and throwing it at Jon when I said "Nooo, that's Daddy's!!" - I think he's finally caught on.
Jude, on the other hand, can't keep his little paws off the tree and gifts. It's easy now, but I am dreading the day little Sticky Fingers here goes mobile.
Something tells me the tree-gate will be back in full-force come Christmas 2011!