Years ago, I called Steve on the radio to rage at his indifference where Christmas preparation was concerned. It is our holiday classic: me, on the side of 2-94, punchlisting the orders he gave and his failure to help in any way. Things have not changed, even with Steve's new house arrest. He hides in the basement from me and my Christmas madness. He pretends he is working, or working out. His staff is complicit: he has fake meetings so he is out of my sight. I forge on, knowing that if I do not decorate, we will be dark and gloomy. Steve hates Christmas.
Today, Steve and I agreed to a self-imposed STOP on my Christmas trimming merriment. Anything I did not complete today would be pruned from my "to decorate" list. I will respect the bargain, though I confess I was manic all day, trying to finish my house. I need to go back and try to obscure the cords, add some timers, and neaten up a thing or two. You will not see my Nativity here- and it is a beautiful Lladro set that my Mom and Dad gave us, featuring a one-eared cow. I ran out of lights, and it is incomplete. I think Baby Jesus looks sad without a wreath of garland and lights glowing about him. I have searched the world over for cheap 50-light sets- Menards, Home Depot, Target- before finally finding them at Wal Mart. I bought 10 sets before realizing they were not end-to-end. This has changed my electrical approach, and not in a good way. They are all used. I am out of glimmer. I cannot go on the hunt again. I am without so much as a gift, and so I expect it is time to move on. So here is Janet's ridiculous Christmas-
(The front door is just a basic welcome. I used to have lights galore, but now I just hang Boy Scout garland and wreaths, fill them with lights and red ribbon.
My cow has been living in the attic for a few years, and when I was lugging Christmas stuff down I decided to emancipate her, and embellish her. The dining room went from a tavern look to a much Frenchier motif when I adopted Mom's dining room set, but they say every room needs one humorous thing. I think the cow qualifies. I found a horseshoe and put it above her head for luck- and I need that luck, since I could not bring myself to nail this piece up (it weighs 25 pounds) so it is propped. I love living dangerously.
This is the new hutch. I tried to get Steve to drill a big hole so I could have lights on the shelves, and he refused. I used the wreath to hide the wires going from shelf to shelf. These are Byers carolers
, and most of them are too tall to stand on the shelves. I mostly like the singing dogs. Mom started me on this group, and I add every animal I can find.
I have a garden window in the kitchen, and I love to gussy it up. When Christmas is over, I miss this the most, because the window reflects the light in such a dazzling and warm way.
I have one of those traditional houses where there was a laundry room/den behind the garage. A few years ago I made it into a sunroom/computer room. It is the only place where I could put a skylight, and my house is DARK. So I live in that room, and I have my holographic silver tree to keep me company. My Santa collection is there this year, too- I am in that room as I type this!
This is a baker's rack that I bought years ago for my kitchen. When I got it home, it wouldn't fit because I had low soffits. So I had Bill Appelhans, my remodeling guy, cut the legs down. Now I repurposed it to the sunroom, and some of my Christmas critters are living there for the holidays. I like to use those auto-sensor candles to light stuff up, because they go on and off like magic. I have cord obscuring to do here- I am sure I'll get around to it!
This is in our family room. These are family pictures, mostly from Christmas Past. The scrapbook has the Christmas letters I have written to the family every year since 1993, and some Christmas cards and pictures. The heart in the front is the cremains of Carol Dahl. She hated the winter, but finally, she is spending the holiday with us. I like having her in the family circle.
Steve is pretty adamant that I can not decorate the shrine he calls his 50 incher, but he went to a hockey game, and I threw some garland and lights up. If he freaks, he will have to remove them. I doubt that his hands will see any Christmas decorating/undecorating.
Cord disguise is sorely needed here, too. The dolls on the hearth snuck in my car, and came to Chicago with me when we sold Mom and Dad's condo. They are hand made and adorable. I know Mabel and Milly are giving them the eye. I made Mike and Pat's stockings, and then when poor Matt came along, I was pooped. He got a store bought stocking. I am a bad mom.
Because I cannot decorate the mantel and obscure the TV, I have a mantel cabinet that stands in. I am showing it dark, because this is how I like it- glowing and twinkling. My love of glitter shows up here. I am a cheap disco- Christmas girl at heart. This lighter shot will give you some detail of my wretched excess. I fill that jar with glittering ornaments and stuff lights all around them. Christmas is good for my inner floozy.
Because the house is in transition to welcome the Ghosts of Janet's Christmases past(via my parents' furniture) my snowmen and my altar boys are stranded in the attic. So is my 101 Dalmations tree. I left my festive Christmas attire in tupperware too, for which Steve is infinitely grateful. There is no place to display my many angels. I have decorations abandoned in the rafters, waiting to be chosen. It is not to be. I have stopped. It is time to relax in the glow of my winter wonderland. Trust me- you have not seen every bit of my madhouse Christmas. The bannister is wrapped and lit, and the grandfather clock has an evergreen bonnet. I just do not want to give the impression that I am obsessive compulsive about Christmas. Well, maybe I am. I snuck a little tiny tree in Steve's Dahlcast headquarters tonight. I hope he likes it.
Every available item can get decorated if I have something in my hand. Milly was jingling too much in her Christmas collar, so Mr. Pig got lucky. Milly didn't much care for the hat, either. I made this stocking for Steve when we were first dating. I am not sure if I have filled it since then. It looks a little tired, but it immortalizes that first suck-up love. He even pretended to like Sneakers, a gift dog from an old boyfriend. I smile when I realize I stuck that damn dog on felt. Steve put her down 7 years later (at age 13) after she snapped at Baby Matt. I don't think he grieved.
At any rate, thank you for joining my little indulgent tour. The tally: Janet, 40 hours, including cleaning. Steve: 20 minutes. It warms the heart. Or stops it.