Saturday, December 15, 2012

It Doesn't Get Much Better than Christmas

There are days when it feels silly and shallow to blog about frivolous things like crafting and decorating and movies when there is such sadness and misery in the world.  Today is one of those days. 
I worked yesterday, and spent the entire time whining in my head about my aching feet, and my aching back, and my aching knees (are you sensing a pattern here?) and those whiney, crabby customers, and how hungry and thirsty I was, and was my shift EVER going to end?!  And on and on and on, ad nauseum  . . .
Then I went home and turned on the news and I felt foolish and ashamed that I was complaining about relatively inconsequential stuff. So what if my back and feet and knees ache? At least I can stand and walk. And if those customers are ill-tempered jerks? Well, they're the ones who have to live with themselves. I thank God that I only have to deal with them for a short period of time and that, at least in my free time, I can choose to associate with people who are kind and loving. And if I'm hungry? Well, I could certainly afford to lose a few pounds, so maybe occasional hunger might be a good thing.
When I hear about tragedies like the shootings in Connecticut, I count my blessings. And I pray for those I love (and remind myself to also pray for those I don't even like!)
I thought about not posting what I was planning to post today, but I decided to do it anyway. I don't know about everyone else, but I enjoy visiting your blogs (and writing mine) because I need a respite from the daily news about war and murder and pain and misery. Those things are right in front of us every time we open up a newspaper, or turn on the radio or the TV.  They're impossible to ignore. Sometimes, they hit far too close to home, both literally and figuratively, and we must face them without the protective barrier of newsprint or a television screen.
So, after spending some time crying and wondering if the world has gone mad, I decided to think about something good.  And for me, it doesn't get much better than Christmas.

In spite of the fact that I work retail (and quite frankly, despise it), I still love Christmas.  I love the religious aspect of it, and I love the secular stuff as well, and have no issues with enjoying both equally.  I love Shiny Brite ornaments, "A Charlie Brown Christmas", Santa Claus, houses with Christmas lights, Midnight Mass, Christmas trees, Nativity scenes, gift wrap, Christmas cards, "It's a Wonderful Life", tinsel, Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas", Christmas cookies, eggnog . . .  
Here are a few pictures from my house:
One of my craft projects that I actually liked the end result and didn't donate to Goodwill.  I hang this wreath in my entryway.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without my mom's Nativity scene.  She bought this sometime in the mid '50's, and I always enjoy setting it up each year.  I miss my mom very much, particularly at Christmas.

I decorated the fireplace mantel in my living room rather simply (well, simple for ME anyway): just a few ornaments amidst the china.

I inherited my love of the color pink from my grandmother, who had all pink ornaments on her Christmas tree.  Some of the above were hers.

I wanted an old-fashioned looking Christmas, with Shiny Brite ornaments, and tinsel.  I decided not to put the tinsel on when someone decided she wanted to help me:

Yup, that's silver tinsel in her mouth!

Since she was so interested in the tree, I decided to wrap up misc. boxes in this vintage-looking gift wrap, and place them in front of the tree to keep her away.  So far, my strategy has worked.  And I love the darling gift wrap. So very 50's.

These Gurley candles belonged to my grandmother.  She had about a dozen candles of various styles.  These choir members and the lamp post are in pretty good condition.  I can't say the same for some of the others.

In addition to the decorations in my living room, I decided to decorate my dining room as well.  I have collected Snoopy stuff since high school, and have about 400 Snoopy Christmas ornaments, as well as all the other misc. decorations.  I haven't put out the Snoopy stuff for a couple of years (it's A LOT of work), but I was in the mood for it this year, and love the fact that after so many years of living in a small apartment, I now have enough room to go a little crazy with the Christmas decorating.  Here are some scenes from my dining room:

My sister made the Christmas tree skirt for me.

I used two artificial trees for the Snoopy ornaments, but didn't have enough room for all of them.

My oldest nephew made the tissue paper wreath for me when he was about 6.  He's now 30; I can't believe how well the wreath has held up. Those sweet presents from my nieces and nephews are some of my most treasured possessions.

Yeah, I know, it's all pretty over-the-top and crazy, but it makes me smile, and my guests always enjoy it.  It's hard to feel sad when you see all those smiling Snoopies.  And it's hard to feel sad with this one around:

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Count your blessings, as I will. And, if you're Christmas shopping, be kind to the retail store clerk.  She puts up with a lot of crap from people, and trust me, her feet are KILLING her.
Thanks for stopping by.  I would love it if you would leave a comment - I really enjoy reading them!