Friday, December 21, 2012

The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer

 It's the last day of school for the year! Or it would be if the kids weren't having a snowday thanks to ALL THIS SNOW. The younger two went outside and frolicked in the snow and the oldest kid stayed inside and worked on her Christmas presents, bless her industrious little heart. And it is SO close to Christmas, which means that I will now show you my favorite Christmas decorations.

This is what our tree looks like this year. As you can see by our coloured Christmas lights, we are not Communists:
 I spent all of Christmas tree set-up day last weekend feeling PRETTY hard done by because our tree is a bit.. spartan. Charlie-Brown-esque. But throw on a zillion decorations and three miles of lights and you can barely tell!

And now for the close-up tour:
He's REALLY old - from about 1900 and super-fragile blown glass. He used to have an elf buddy with a mushroom hat but I broke him because I suck.

Also note the leering snowmen who like where this is headed. Anyhow, someone brought ups back the kissing kouple from a trip to Holland.

The kids had Monday off, too - geez, what a short week - and we made cinnamon-applesauce dough and cut out hearts for the tree and our house smelled OVERPOWERINGLY of cinnamon for a few days.

SO CRAFTY. We made tons of these hearts.

St. Nicholas sometimes brings Christmas ornament kits, which is wise of him and one year we made zillions of these pretty little angels:
 Isn't she sweet? Less sweet is the memory of the tense day we made them, when one kid was in trouble in her room ALL DAY LONG. But the angels are pretty! Begone, actual memories!


I don't love these dumb lumpy bears but the kids do. They have magnets in their noses, so no matter where they are, they swing together like a lovestruck new couple:

This is my favorite thing - it's a winged girl holding a white fox, riding on a deer and Bill put her in my stocking the Christmas we were expecting The Girl:
I see the ornament and I briefly feel again that wild fear and that wild hope.
This is a very fragile old tree topper - too small to go on top of our tree, so it just hangs hugely off to the side:
It used to be on my grandma's tree and now it is on mine.

These are my favorite - wee little birthday candle-holding angels, long broken. I think they're from the 30s:
They have the sweetest wistful little faces. Also seen in this picture: OUR MAGNIFICENT GINGERBREAD PALACE. The Girl made it this year and she is obviously going Big Gingerbread Places.

She also made this gorgeous tree at school out of a magazine, spraypaint and glitter:
"You must be really artistic too," some well-meaning soul said to me the other day and I laughed and laughed. My friend C gave me the stern bookish angel behind the tree.

And here you can see the box the angels get stored in and that I set out because it's so pretty, the Christmas card my Uncle Ron and Aunt Lori sent (made with one of his photographs), and a jar full of antique glass balls - too fragile to hang up anymore:
 They look dusty in the picture but they're actually covered in tiny fine cracks!

I love this time of year. And now I am off to bake some cookies. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your family.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gift Ideas for Husbands, Specifically MINE.

Bill is a prince among husbands, a fantastic guy all around - devoted, compassionate, hard-working - and if everyone was more like him, the world would be a better place unless you used bad fonts on a menu, in which case you'd probably be shot.

But what DOES one get a fine, artsy guy like that? The automatic lazy male defaults - sports stuff! beer products! socks! - would just make him sad.

You get him books like this: The Upset: Young Contemporary Art. That was easy.

He would also like the Sawvivor Saw for Christmas. 

Nothing says "Merry Chirstmas, Baby!" like a fine camping saw, I always say. NOTHING.

I WAS going to get him a copy of Cards Against Humanity, but they were sold out the day I was shopping. It would still be a dandy choice for him. He loves games like that.

Makey Makey


I also tend to get Bill soulful yet manly short story collections. This year's pick: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver.

I also got him a fine squishy old Irish guy hat, which the website no longer has but I bought it at Old Navy. GREAT CHOICE, ME.

He also loves Baileys so I tend to get him some of that in both drinkable and candy form. It's CHRISTMAS. Have both.

Another book! Shop Class as Soulcraft, just so he can feel justified in his lifelong insistence that it's very important that kids learn practical skills with their hands.

And that's it! That's all he's getting. It should be - I hope - a merry Christmas for him. And for you and your family, too. What are you getting YOUR husband/partner/self for Christmas this year?

(for more fun gift lists, check out Nicole's suggestions for Nicole and Nan's suggestions for Star Trek fans.)