It is early Sunday morning, a week before Christmas, and I am sitting in the kitchen anxiously awaiting the ‘wintery mix’ I have been promised by our Doppler Radar Weather People.
|this was taken at the beginning of writing this post|
For those of you unfamiliar with weather patterns here on the Coast of Illinois – ‘wintery mix’ is not a delicious chocolate blend but more of a disastrous coating of freezing rain, covered by about 4 hours of beautiful snow which is then topped with a final coating of sleet. This can occur in no particular order but is ALWAYS topped with that freezing icing of…ice.
It is a Parfait of Precipitation.
Which nearly always occurs on Sunday afternoon leading into Sunday night and concluding on Monday morning about 7 minutes before rush hour.
The threat of this sends ordinarily sane humans into frenzied French toast chefs, leaving grocery stores ransacked of all bread, eggs and milk. Which seems like a ridiculous supply list.
Personally, I opt for popcorn, soda, a nice bottle of cabernet and bologna.
The fact that this particular storm threatens to hit on the next to last weekend before Christmas is just a cruel reminder by Mother Nature that the most important part of the holidays is not the perfect gift but being trapped in the house by six feet of ice…with loved ones ….
However, around here, the most important part of the holiday this year is the addition of Chrome Boy – better known around the Christmas Tree lot as That Tacky Silver Tinsel Tree with Color Wheel which graced many homes back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Every year Rob tells me about their tinsel tree with color wheel. And every year I cringe and give him my best Charlie Brown ‘Good Grief!’.
But thanks to the artificial intelligence of on-line shopping and the miracle of instant delivery, I managed to find both a small tinsel tree and color wheel for less than the typical ‘retro-vintage’ price.
It was delivered secretly to my parents’ home where I picked it up after work late one night, then hastily put it together before going back to work in order to surprise Rob.
He was appropriately surprised and excited and now ‘Chrome Boy’ lives in the Tiki basement, decorated with random left over ‘vintage’ style ornaments and topped with Santa Pirate.
Which, in a nutshell, is our decorating style.
|Ho Ho Ho!|
And why I love seeing other people’s holiday pictures. In our little circle we have the traditional decorators, the elegant decorators and then there’s us, the eclectics.
|our more traditional tree|
Each is beautiful in its own way and works so well for each individual. There is no way to compare.
Yet, with all the hype of the holiday season, the Hallmark vignettes, the Pinterest suggestions, the emotional blackmail, it’s easy to fall into a psyched out, frenzy of overblown perfection driven crazy.
I have been there.
Every year I visit the land of Holiday Hysteria at some point.
This year it was the day the nose piece broke off my glasses forcing me to work two shifts with crooked bifocals, giving myself a migraine with accompanying nausea and culminating in a day spent walking around the house in my Jackie O prescription sunglasses while waiting for the repair place to call with my newly reattached nose piece. Thanks to the vision disorientation and dizziness I couldn’t do anything but sit on the couch and enjoy the ornaments sitting at the perfect diopter distance away from my stigmatic eyeballs.
This just happened to be the goofy shepherd ornament we made with the kids for Sunday School. I can’t even remember how I managed to sew up 24 of those little bodies to be stuffed and dressed by 24 tiny pairs of hands. They are silly and sweet, and both of our kids love them. And although they weren’t able to help decorate the tree this year, I made sure their favorites still made the cut.
Especially these little shepherds.
|pretty sure all shepherds smile like this|
And as I sat, trying to focus on just one thing, I remembered the delight in our daughter’s voice when she found the shepherds this year. And the laughter as the kids talked about holidays past.
And those immortal words of Dr. Seuss came to me, as they do every year:
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store…Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more…!”
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Whether your holiday is shiny and bright, or quiet and still, may you be surrounded by the people who make your heart swell!
Happy Happy Holidays from the Coast of Illinois
And ps – We have FLAKES!! The first layer of Wintery Mix is beginning!
|note the lovely, sparkly ice crystals|