Monday, December 20, 2010
Decorating for the Season
ROBERTA: So last week we got a peek at Jan's amazing Christmas tree and that got me thinking it would be fun to see everyone's decorations. Or if you don't decorate, you could tell us how you feel about that!
About eight years ago, a little cedar seeded itself next to our light post by the front walk. Over the past couple years it totally shot up and began to take over the post. John and I both agreed it had to come down, and then we had the bright idea of cutting it down to use as our Christmas tree this year. Of course, we've never trimmed the thing and it's lopsided because of the way the wind has whipped it around for eight years. And now it's even more lopsided because we had to trim a huge section in order to be able to watch TV. And it gives off a funny little odor, not that nice pine scent we're used to. (My sister thinks it's a specimen called a "stinking cedar". Really.) After seeing Jan's tree, this is just a little embarrassing.
There's the before photo with my woodsman at the ready.
and then here's the after--definitely got the Charlie Brown thing going. And PS, we decided to try a string of those low wattage, new-fangled bulbs this year. I kept thinking they couldn't really look blue...but they do. They are NOT growing on me.
What's up in your house this year?
HANK: OH, dear, Jonathan and I have a thing about holiday decorations. Here's the conversation:
Hank: Think we could have a Christmas tree this year?
Jonathan: Honey, we're Jewish.
Hank: Yeah, but we had one growing up. For a while. Until my mother decided to remember we were Jewish. But that was years later. And trees are so pretty! And festive. And they smell good.
Hank: We could have just a little one. With all red satin bows and candy canes. Come on.
Jonathan: Honey? We're--
Hank: Yeah, I know. So how about one of those rosemary trees? You could just think of it as an herb garden. With red bows and candy canes on it.
As you can hear, this is a discussion in progress.
ROBERTA: Hank, I bet he knows by now that no discussion with you is ever quite finished:).
HALLIE: I usually put a green swag on the front door, and that's that. But our neighbors make up for us. Across the street there's lights everywhere and a goose on the front step dressed up like Santa. A few years ago they added a bowing blow up snowman which fortunately seems to have bitten the dust. Next door tasteful lights front, back and sides.
We have lovely neighbors and it's all very jolly, though I am grateful no one has a soundtrack going. Hanuka was so early this year it got away before I could even make potato pancakes.
ROSEMARY: I'm suffering from Christmas tree withdrawal. We're leaving for Rome on Dec 23 and it didn't make sense to put up a tree that we'd have to either take down before we went away or not get to enjoy for very long once we get back. (I did leave my tree up until February once but that's a long story.) I have white minilights on the fireplace and on a credenza all year long so this year I just added a few strands. Also bought swags and tied ribbons around them. And ...uh..baskets of pine cones. Ten dollars says I get a small tree in the next few days.
Here's a pic of last year's tree.
RHYS: I've just finished the enormous task of decorating the Christmas tree with one hand. Last year we gave in and bought an artificial tree for the first time. And I have to say that it looks gorgeous. But it doesn't smell. I'd even trade Roberta's stinky smelling cedar for it. One of the things I love about Christmas, is that outdoorsy pine smell. However, I just found out that Trader Joe's has all kinds of pine wreaths. So one of those over the mantelpiece, ought to make the room smells sufficiently Christmassy. And here is my photo of the dreaded artificial tree.
JAN: We live next door to a neighbor with unlimited resources who hires -- well I can only call him/her/it a professional Christmas light artist. The lights are massive, all in white, but every tree, every window, every gutter, and angle. And she's got some sort of full-size Nutcrackers at the door, and full-size Christmas people on the porch. People come from all over to see it.
But without the professional contractor, we do all right. This year my husband was inspired (maybe by next door) and put green lights on all the base/trunk of the trees and white lights on top. White on the bushes, its very pretty.
I bought the wreath for the door, but it actually has to be hung from the window above the door, so it isn't up yet. But you've all seen the tree -- my daughter also decorated the foyer, the family room, and the dining room. We even have reindeer towels in the bathroom.
ROBERTA: Hallie, I'm crazy about that goose. Ro and Rhys, your trees are lovely. Jan, I'm glad it's not a competition, our houses against yours! Jungle Red Readers, what's up in your house this year?