26 November, 2008

Rebuilding the Holidays

When a person ups and moves across the globe they are faced with unusual decisions. High amongst these is the selection of what stays and what comes along for the journey. Unfortunately, for my move, holiday decorations found their way into the stay-behind pile.

A few dear items made the trip. Treasured ornaments, the dreidel hand-carved by my father, a couple charmingly dilapidated votives that are from before my birth...these things I kept. However, the garlands, the shiny red strings of beads, and all the pretty lights bit the big one.

So, I find myself on the brink of Decoration Day with a very meager collection and a lack of overall holiday spirit. It's a truly unique experience to go from holidays dusted with snow, a cold bite in the air, soft scarves and bulky sweaters, to one where going to the beach for a dip might not be a bad idea. Add to the mix our ongoing efforts to scrape up spare change when and where we can, and this holiday month could prove to be a daunting hill to climb!

Tomorrow is the joint family birthday dinner, as my 30th falls nearby three other birthdays in the husband's clan. Friday, we're quietly celebrating a belated Thanksgiving, and Saturday has hubby doing some tree trimming, for work. I'll be tagging along for an excuse to spend some time cityside.

My journal and I will spoil ourselves with a bit of coffee and people-watching, and a trek to Target for some sale-priced ornament shopping. Then, it's off to the craft store. I'm hoping to gather up enough goods to sew a couple simple stockings (my husband is the tailor, not I), build a small wreath, and see what other goodies I can dream up along the way. These all seem honorable uses of my birthday gift monies from near and far.

It's been a long time since I've done any crafting, so it will be an adventure! I'm starting to look forward to it, and hoping I can bring a touch of Norman Rockwell to this sun-baked, seaside season.


suzan said...

Dear One! Happy 30th birthday to you! My goodness - the whole world is there for you at thirty. Have a wonderful holiday season even though most of your decorations are elsewhere. My mom talks of the year she had to "make do" with Christmas in Brownsville Texas. My dad was in the Air force and stationed there. She was raised in Michigan and found tinsel on the palm trees rather disconcerting!

The W.O.W. factor said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful one and your hubby spoils you!
I know all about moving and leaving decorations behind, which limits you the next season! We've done that so much I have forgotten so many I used to have...still have If I'd go retrieve them from the old friends barns! (unless the mice enjoyed them for their deco!)

acrosstheblueridge said...

While in Brazil your grandmother was faced with much the same problem. Even Christmas trees were not to be had. Ultimately, she settled on an oddly constructed "tree" that looked a lot like five or six long-fringed Mexican-style hats that were stacked upon each other in ascending order of size to a height of nearly four feet. A few colorful, albeit small, glass balls were wired to each layer. A bit of tinsel was the finishing touch.

That degree of resourcefulness is not too surprising when you consider that the first Christmas tree she shared with your grandfather was decorated with cigarette wrappers - you know, the little plastic pull-strings used to open each pack. It was war time and the then traditional lead icicles were all being made into munitions. My, my, isn't that an ironically disturbing notion!

I am sure you will find equally inventive ways to decorate and to make ready for the Holidays.

Kelly the City Mouse said...

Suzan: Thank you! I'm really looking forward to spending tomorrow evening stringing up lights and whatnot. It should be good fun :) Just need to be a bit creative!

W.O.W: Many thanks! He's got something mysterious cooked up, and hidden away, in the shed. We shall see what he's been up to in there. Hopefully this is the last time (of many) that I'll have to rebuild xmas from near-scratch.

Dad: I remember the hat-tree story, but I hadn't heard the cigarette wrapper one! Then again, the grandfolks always did have strange taste in trees. I'm thinking I may do a semi-aussie wreath and garland, with summer fruits and holiday ribbons attached, to kinda combine the theme. Hopefully it works out alright!