Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Posted by Susan

I am plagued by indecision about the holidays this year. For the first time in 10, count ‘em, 10 years, I will be home on Christmas day. For the past 10 years, I have flown with the DH to Seattle to be with his family, including his son. For a series of reasons of no possible interest to anyone but me, I would fly in on Christmas Eve and then we head home after Christmas.

I haven’t decorated for the holidays in those ten years for an assortment of reasons. First, it seems silly if no one is around to enjoy the display. Second, my fear is that the cats will assume the tree is the South American jungle and party in it, thereby causing it to crash on them, possibly hurting them. However wonderful my cat sitter is, the cats will hide from her. I hate the thought of them being hurt with me gone. But this year I’m home for the holidays, so to speak, and decorating is required. Not only will I get to put out the stuff I have, I get to buy new stuff.

I’ve been all excited about the whole shopping thing. For the first time ever, I’m dying for the store displays to appear. I want to hear the holiday music and see the red and green M&Ms, see weird, scary Santa in the food court. I’m ready! Except, I’m kind of…not.

I’ve ordered a few things and some of them are totally cool and some aren’t. I want table top trees made out of small bulbs or glass or something in various shades of red. Can’t find those anywhere. I have a stuff bear collection that I’d like to add to, which should be easy enough. But what else?

The holiday stuff is starting to appear in the stores and I find myself a little immobilized. There’s so much out there and I’m not sure what I want. Do I do a theme? A color? Wreath or no wreath? Snowmen or reindeer? Do I put garland on the banister? And if I do, how on earth does it get attached and keep from sliding down? A second tree upstairs? Help!

So I’m looking for suggestions. Here’s the question. What do you do to decorate for the holidays? What is your favorite thing? Least favorite? What have you never done that you’d love to see?


At 8:00 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

LOL, Susan.

Okay, the deal is, I'm trying to dial back on the holiday thing. The only reason I keep decking the halls is younger son, the J. This is probably his last year living at home, though, so after 2006...

Who can say?

But I will confess I have ten huge plastic bins full of xmas stuff up on the attic. I put fake garland on every available surface, twined with lights and little decorations. We have a live tree. A seven-foot one as our ceiling is only eight feet. The J and I go out and buy it together. He stands it in the stand and I put on the lights. Lots of lights. Usually about a thousand small mulitcolored lights. ARgh. Then there are the boxes and boxes of decorations to hang. Outside, we put lights in the eaves and twine lighted garland around the pillars on the front porch. And then there are big red velvet bows. Oh,and the lifesize lighted wire reindeer and the five-foot wire lighted angel blowing a trumpet.

Inside again: a three-foot tall battery-powered Bing Crosby who sings into his little microphone a wide variety of Christmas ditties. China gingerbread houses with space inside to put a lighted candle. Nutcrackers, decked-out Santa dolls...

Okay. That's enough for now. I think I need to go lie down until the visions of sugarplums stop dancing in my head...

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention the six-foot tall wire tree with green lights on it that always sits on the back deck where we can see it through the kitchen-nook window.

Large sections of those lights are always going out. Then someone (yeah. me) has to go out there and test light after tiny light until someone (yeah. me) finds the one that's causing the short.

I need a cosmo.

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

Ok, christine--WOW!

Every year dh wants to put up decorations outside. Ok, I am not an exterior decorator--so I say "Go for it!" He waits until the coldest/windiest/darkest night possible, then goes out with the oldest son, and teaches him new and creative ways to swear! I cannot remember when the last time was that the lights were on the outside of the house. :)

We used to have real trees, but as I get older and had more kids--the pre-lit trees really tripped my trigger. I found one on sale 2 years ago and its great! I dont' have to worry about putting on all the darn lights. I have more Hallmark ornaments than Hallmark themselves at this point. (I love those after Christmas sales!) Never pay full price--that's my motto.

This year we are putting a train around the tree. My youngest is really into that idea, so he keeps asking me about it. Of course he is 3 and has no concept of the time between now and the time that we will put up the tree.

We have a great bear collection too, however the Chesapeake Bay will think that is a very cool snack--so we will keep them in the boxes again this year.

We have the advent candles and the count downs to Christmas that go on each boys' bedroom door. Every morning it is a race to see who can move their (santa, candy cane, or tree) to the right date.

By the time I get all that done--I am about ready for a bottle of wine. :)

All the best,


At 9:16 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Christine, I'm having visions of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, especially the part where they short out the whole town when they plug in the outdoor lights? LOL

Susan, for the past five years, we've been traveling to my brother's (the Great Jimmy) for Christmas. His house is also right out of the National Lampoon movie. I've got pictures. It's insane. We love it! Then we get to go home!

Anyway, this means we don't do much holiday decorating. Oh, we get a wreath over the mantle because we need some evergreen smells around the house, and we put up some decorations here and there. But that's it. It's great! Does that make me Scrooge? Probably, but I really love the part where there's no cleaning up after the holidays! Reeally love that part!

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Wow! I'm so impressed! Chris, Kim, you make the rest of us look like slackers! Well okay, maybe only me!

I usually have garland hung on the walls, a live tree, complete with mess, dropped needles, flickering lights (why am I still getting a live one??). Bowls filled with brightly colored ornaments, candles, vases with red and white flowers.......and still, so shamefully behind Chris and Kim!!

Susan, have fun this year!

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Hey, Kim! Cheers. *raises cyber-cosmo in salute* And what is it with those advent calendars? We had one store in OKC that sold them. The J always just *had* to have one. The last few years, he's given them up, at least...

Oh, and the train. I've always wanted a train. I must repeat, over and over, in a calm and mantra-like tone, "Scaling down. Scaling down. Scaling down..."

See now, I want to be Kate. And I will be. Next year. I swear it!

Maureen, ah, the dropped needles. I lose more porta-vacs that way. This year, with the new, remodeled family room, the tree will be on wood floor instead of carpet. I can use a broom on the needles and save the stress on the vacuum cleaner. That's something, at least.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

The DH has a train from when he was a kid. It runs about 15 seconds, then falls off the track. It's not fun, but he insists.

This will be the first full-on holiday for Nikki, possibly the world's cutest dog. As she thinks nearly everything is a toy for her, it will be interesting.

Fruit garland arrived yesterday and it was lovely. Not real fruit, of course, but still all glittery and pretty. The table runner I ordered is a tad short, although delightfully tacky with lots of beads hanging at the ends. The DH was delighted to see it didn't fit!

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Christie Ridgway said...

Yes, yes to the garland. Yours sounds lovely. Years ago I bought one for the stairway that was inexpensive...and started to look it. I finally bought another one, better quality, also with fruit!

I have lots of Christmas decorations, but like Halloween, some of mine are a bit tacky. I'm slowly culling those.

My faves: A lovely "silver" reindeer pulling a sleigh that I put on my mantel (bought at Bombay and Co. on some unbelievable sale. I so love it.)

And Kim, you'll like this. Years ago I found a vintage Santa, sleigh, and reindeer that go on our roof. Yes, my husband takes the sons out there to put them up as well. They're made of plywood and include a "Rudolph" with a red bulb nose that lights up.

Trains are cool!

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Christyne Butler said...

I love the pre-lite fake trees too...makes getting to the hanging ornaments (the good stuff!) faster!

My favorite holiday Christmas Village. I collect "Dept 56 - Christmas In The City" and it started 7 years ago when my former boss gave me one of the buildings - a wedding shop – and the bride and groom in a horse drawn carriage. My DH and my family have continued to add to my little town each year. My 15 year old daughter and I put it up every Thanksgiving weekend (yes, the decorations go up the weekend after Thanksgiving and doesn’t come down until the weekend after New Year’s Day!) and we get such a kick out of opening each box and placing each building and figurine just so. Knowing that one day I will pass this village to her and her children make it all the sweeter!

Oh, and nutcrackers…I collect those too…my favorite is one that’s three feet tall – he’s called Lt. Darcy (yes, after him!) and when the decorations go away into the attic he goes back into his little corner of my office!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Susan, the cats will be fine that's the fun part of it and yes, some decorations will get broken but what the heck?

I'm like Christine, bins and bins of decorations. In the past years we usually go with a theme plus colors and I usually spend some time at Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware to look and see what they have or how they've decorated and go from there.

I have a "huge" Santa collection and my favorite one stands about 4 feet tall, one that Ron bought me last year. We also have his childhood train set which we usually set up under the tree and we can only run it once cause it's like Mike's, it falls off the track.

You're going to love having Christmas in the Northwest, I'm sure of it.

However, it's still hard for me to think about the holidays with Halloween just around the corner.

And of course for you, there's always QVC? I've already purchased some items from them thanks to you! Have fun!


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