Okay, I’m officially in the holiday spirit. It was like a flip that was switched today. At the grocery store, actually. I walked into produce and Christmas carols were playing and I almost rolled my eyes, but I was appeased by a sale on pomegranates. I love pomegranates. Then I was waiting at the deli counter because little J had been requesting salami for about a week. I know, I know: lunch meat is horrible on so many levels. You’re absolutely right. But, gosh, she loves it so. So as long as I was waiting in line at the special store that carries Boar’s Head, I figured that I’d get turkey, too. And then, waiting there, I realized that it was Friday (already!) and that we’re planning on getting our tree this weekend, and I have a long list of pre-requisites before decorating the tree can be accomplished.
All of which I have to explain, because you are not me. First, we’re visiting Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas, which means that if we’re going to get our money’s worth out of our tree, we have to buy it early. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve decorating the Christmas tree. So we’ve replicated much of it, and come to think of it, some of my fondest adult memories involve decorating the Christmas tree, which I’ve talked about it before. In our household, in order to properly decorate a Christmas tree, it’s essential to have:
- Stockings hung with care and a fire in the fireplace
- Christmas music (I am partial to Bing Crosby and Phil Spector’s mix, Cute W requires John Denver and the Muppets, and the girls like Taylor Swift)
- Food that must include, but is absolutely not limited to, potato-leek soup, Cheeseball, an assortment of cheese and crackers, olives, wine, and Magic cookie bars
We already have a tight schedule packed in for Saturday, with a planned Christmas tree finding-and-cutting in the morning, then two soccer games spread over a few hours, a playdate, Homemade Holidays at church and the evening church party. So when it occurred to me that I’d have to do all of this food prep, too, I had a teensy panic attack in front of the deli counter. But then the counter guy handed me a bit of turkey to taste–it was a different kind than I usually get, because it was on sale–and I had a little bit and thought to myself that it was tasty. And then I thought about how good it would be with some cheeseball and a glass of wine and right then and there. . . the holiday spirit entered me as if I were Whoopi Goldberg in that “Ghost” movie. My eyes started to fill with happy tears, and I was just plain excited. Hooray for Christmas! I recounted this story for the girls later in the day and J was on board, but M said something like, wow, that was a stupid story. I guess she thought that it was going to be more entertaining. But that is why she is ten and I am forty-two. Because she is waiting for Exciting Things To Happen and I’m old enough to embrace and appreciate tearful epiphanies at the deli counter.
We also made a cute, convenient, and cheap holiday craft the other day, so I thought I’d share.
It was an impulse buy at A.C. Moore. You know I’m not a big shopper, but this only cost $4.99 and it made 24 ornaments. The Crafty Girl Party is looming, and this year’s planned craft is so simple (snowflakes made of pipe cleaners and beads) that I thought a supplemental craft might be in order. Of course, the party’s smaller than 24, so the girls decided to do a couple of “test” ornaments.
The kit includes basically everything, although scissors are handy to cut the white rickrack to whatever size you’d like. The colored foam is sparkly and made to resemble gumdrops. The white and colored pieces are self-adhesive, the gingerbread foam forms are pre-cut, and so are the golden elastics for hanging them. What I liked about this craft is that it looks really sweet and classic and it’s simple and not messy–I love stuff that can stick and sparkle without glue or glitter. I also liked that there was an opportunity for creativity. So many of these ready-made kits have a prescribed product, but this allows for variations. On the back of the box there’s a photo of a boy ornament and a girl ornament, and the one you see on the front of the box is a completed felt one, so you don’t even make one ahead of time for kids to figure it out. Here are our completed ornaments:
That’s M’s on the left, J’s in the middle, and the example on the right. All cute, and at roughly 20 cents a craft, that’s a pretty good deal!