Dec. 8th, 2008

mellicious: pink manicure (Christmas tree)
Here's another prompt from Holidailies: describe your holiday decorating techniques.

I'm not exactly sure I have holiday decorating techniques, per se, but that's not going to stop me from talking about them anyway. My whole philosophy of holiday decorating is different from how I feel about the rest of the year, and I think you can describe it succinctly as More is Better. More lights, more decorations, more of everything. Now I agree, it is possible to go overboard with this - we've all seen those houses that have so much stuff on the lawn they look like something out of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - but I think on the whole the principle still applies. What's important at the holidays is the spirit of things, after all.

I have, historically, actually had a sort of color scheme for my holiday decorating, which fits in pretty well with the philosophy above. I collected Christmas ornaments for years, and when I got married in the late 80s what was in for decorating was the "country" look, and so half the stuff you saw at the holidays was dark dull red and antique-looking green, and white lights were the fad. So with my usual contrariness, I decided I wanted a tree that looked nothing like that at all. I only bought ornaments that were glitzy and bright-colored (any color, that didn't matter) and preferably metallic, and I had multicolored lights to go with that. I used to have hundreds of ornaments and strings and strings of garland and tinsel, and what I found was that the more of it you piled onto the tree, the better it looked. I'm sure it's possible to overdo there, too, but I never did think I got to that point. I used to love my trees so much - and spend so much time decorating them - that I didn't want to take them down, and they often stayed up well into January and I think at least once into February.

About every other year or maybe third year, I have to admit, I've been known to get Christmas fatigue and not want to put up the tree at all - and I just didn't. That's the beauty of being childless, if you don't feel like fooling with such things you aren't going to be disappointing anybody. I did worry sometimes that it bothered Rob, though - I don't think it did, though, or at least that's what he told me when I asked him. I'm lucky my husband is easy-going. (I suppose he has to be to put up with me!)

I have to admit that we haven't put a tree up this year, so far, although we do have all sorts of lights and other decorations going on. Last year we used the two small trees and I really liked them, but they were stored in the utility room, which got really wet during Ike, and both trees were wet and I think I was worried that the metal bits would start to rust and so forth, so I threw them out. I also threw out quite a lot of ornaments, so I'm not entirely sure what all I've got left. I know at least some of them survived. But I don't know, this year I don't really see a spot in the new apartment that begs for a Christmas tree, and we'd have to go buy one and everything, and I think this is just going to end up being one of the years where we blow it off. We make up for it with the other decorations, I think - we have two small (lighted but otherwise undecorated) trees in the bedroom where they show up through the French doors from outside. We have a battery-operated lighted wreath hanging on the balcony door which looks really pretty. And we have the solar LED lights draped over the railing, which are a bit unpredictable due (presumably) to the solar nature of the things, but which for the most part work fine. (One entire string has stopped working the last couple of days, but I think it was because its little solar panel had slipped under the railing and wasn't getting any sun. So I moved it, and we'll see tomorrow if that fixes it.)


(Tomorrow I'll finally have to write about Austin, I suppose. I've been avoiding it a bit, I'm not sure why!)

More Austen

Dec. 8th, 2008 01:04 am
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
Pride and Prejudice in Facebook format. (The second classic to get this treatment that I know of. Hamlet was the first.)

"William Collins tagged 7 of your friends in his note I Propose Myself the Satisfaction of Waiting on You and Your Family."

Just had to share. (found via [livejournal.com profile] papersky )

mellicious: pink manicure (winter berries)
Col wrote an entry about how we should celebrate Candlemas instead of Christmas, on the premise that what you want to do this time of year is drive the darkness away. I don't think it'll catch on but I like the idea. I was thinking about this issue because I've been addressing what I still call Christmas cards, although most of the ones I send nowadays usually say "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". I've noticed that in internet circles, anyway, there's a lot of interest in celebrating something-that-is-not-Christmas, whether you call it Candlemas or Yule or Solstice or Festivus, or just the "Winter Holidays" (my old employer has used that one the last couple of years). I know a lot of non-Christians feel left out by Christmas, although I never really did even when I stopped being a Christian - I think it's because I loved Christmas as a kid and I don't really have bad associations with it to speak of. Plus, my family was prone to shoving religion down your throat all year 'round, not just at Christmas - for some reason, less so at Christmas, really. And the only part of the Christ story I really like, still, is the Christmas part. It's sort of a sweet story as long as you leave out the bit about Herod slaying infants (and even that part is undeniably interesting), and I have to admit that I still rather like things like kids dressed up as angels and doing silly Christmas pageants, and I like Christmas carols, darnit. It's a hard thing to reconcile.

Since I wrote the paragraph above, somebody else wrote an entry I like about "the reason for the season" and, for one thing, how that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Christianity. At least part of it is just that name is so loaded, don't you think? Christmas - Christ-mass. It's almost an unsolveable problem, because of that. If you're not a Christian, you don't like that word. If you are a Christian, you're touchy about it. Well, not ALL Christians are, I'm sure. But the ones that are loud about it are, anyway - the "put Christ back in Christmas" crowd. Like practically everything else in American culture, it's all about the big divide between Christians and non-Christians. (That seems to be a peculiarly American thing. Do other countries have this problem, to the degree we do?)


(In honor of Holidailies, or the holidays, or something, I changed my theme to a really obnoxious - pink!! - Christmasholiday one. If you're seeing your own theme instead of mine, you can see the obnoxious one by clicking here. I dunno, we'll see how long I can stand it.)

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