Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Holiday Lights

Hope everyone had a splendid holiday. My Christmas gift collection included blackberry jam, warm winter socks, a new bird feeder to replace the one the squirrels trashed, a book detailing ways to remain cheap--which I am of course—and a Cornell University hooded sweatshirt. Wendy and I noticed while Christmas shopping that it seems to be much easier to find “hoodies” than regular sweatshirts anymore. I’d be interested in hearing what others got this Christmas if you want to share.

Since I wanted to try a little creativity with my holiday photo-taking, I took some pictures of our Christmas decorations with natural light. Figured out how to do that with my digital camera.

My wife Wendy spends a great deal of time putting up the holiday décor. I’m only her assistant, and not a good one at that. The first photo is from her ceramic village collection that rests over the fireplace mantle. Seems like it’s lacking something. Maybe some ceramic people, or toy soldiers, or dinosaurs . . . something like that.

The photo of our tree displays a few of our older ornaments. The rocking horse from 1978 is something Wendy acquired before we had even met. There are also two ornaments marking our “baby’s first Christmas.” Those have to be at least 24 years old, since our youngest turned 24 in August. At the far left you might be able to see an ornamental bone with the name “Doogie.” Even though our pet chin-pooh has been gone over a year, we still remember him fondly.

Then there’s a picture of our nativity set, handed down from Wendy’s mother. That dates wayyyyyy back. We looked up some of the figurines on E-Bay, which were made in Italy and “U.S. Germany” post World War II. Found out they’re made of paper mache. I think the straw is pretty old too.

Finally, there is the green garland that gives our white picket fence a New England holiday look, I think. The elderly woman who lives across the street has told Wendy she really feels the Christmas spirit, looking out her front window to see our fence decorated like it is.

But very soon it all comes down. Wendy wanted to take it down this week, but we learned during the priest’s sermon that today (Tuesday) is really only the fifth day of Christmas. We’re really supposed to leave our decorations up to the twelfth day of Christmas; there’s a liturgical name for the feast that ends Christmas, but I can’t remember what he said it was. Let me Google it here now . . .

The feast of Epiphany. Now if I can remember that, I’ll have learned something new today.


Blogger TechnoBabe said...

Good for you trying new things with the digital camera. I have ours charged and ready and I have the instruction booklet on my desktop so I am right behind you on the learning curve. Hubby is better than I am and he has been taking and sending pictures already. I like your garland on your fence. A family in our neighborhood has the same look on their fence, and it is such a cheery look and brings a smile each time we pass their house. So I know how the neighbors feel when they look out on your decorations. I have jam envy; blackberry jam is my favorite. Hubby never even considered blackberry till he and I got together and now I have to get in there and get some before he takes it all. Smile.Glad you and Wendy and your family had such a good Christmas.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

it all looks beautiful Dave! I'm impressed that you are able to share the pictures with us. I'm no where close to that level of technique.

Our best present-contractors are officially out of our home and we have officially moved back into our bathroom.

on to the bedroom...

12:49 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

Your decorations are just beautiful. We have quite a few old ornaments handed down to us for our tree. And one that I made when I was in second grade. A brownies project. It's a little green felt tree, and has seen better days, but always makes it to the tree.

Have a happy new year!

9:34 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

TECHNOBABE--I need to find the instruction manual for my digital camera. Trial and error can be time-consuming.

CARINE--It's about time we did some major re-decorating in our house. Just don't know where to start.

CASSIE--Thanks. I wish I still had some ornament that I made in school. I think I made Christmas ornaments in school. So far back it's hard to remember.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ Your lights and decorations are great. I am so glad you had an enjoyable Christmas and I hope the New Year which begins in 3 and a half hours here will be a Happy
Healthy and Peaceful year for you and your family.
My granddaughter and her boyfriend have arrived in London. She and my son bought Skypes ?? so they have seen her and spoken to her.
Take care, my friend, Regards, Merle.

1:40 AM  
Blogger B.S. said...

I really like the garland on the fence too. Classy.

I would like to address the issue of what I got for Xmas. I received several gift cards. I don't like them. I'm not a shopper, and I never end up using the danged things.

One person, a co-worker, gave me an actual gift- a very soft bathrobe. I find that very touching; too bad The Child has commandeered it.

My sister also sent me a dress and a skirt, although, bless her, she thinks I'm a lot larger than I am.

Each Xmas and birthday I tearfully remember my mother. A born shopper, she was the greatest gift-giver ever.

Hugs and Happy New Year,

9:44 AM  
Anonymous balthasar said...

We celebrate Epiphany religiously here; I place a bean in a cake and whoever finds it is king/queen for the day and gets to finally place the wise men in the manger. We light frankincense and myrrh incense and read the story of the Magi.

Happy 7th Day of Christmas! I shall play Saint-Saens' "The Swan" on my cello today in honor of those swans-a-swimming.

Allow an alliterative aid? Seven swans-a-swimming symbolize seven sacraments. (Spartans surmise stuff.)

Of course, the biggest holiday of this season falls on January 2, when the MSU SPARTANS will educate and eradicate Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl. How will you be celebrating that event?

Your decorations are lovely, Dave, but lots more GREEN is needed!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Very nice decorations, Dave.... Tell Wendy that she did a great job. We have some really old ornaments too, a couple date back almost 100 years.

I got some warm socks for Christmas too, along with a really nice Indigo Timex watch, some CD's and a DVD, a really warm blanket and other things. It was a nice Christmas and now we are on to New Years... I have some blackeyed peas soaking in the pot and later this morning I will add some ham hock and cook them up for our evening meal. Hope you and Wendy have a wonderful New Year...

3:13 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

MERLE--Not sure if Skypes is the right word either but I know what you mean. It's technology just like you used to see on the Jetsons.

B.S.--Mothers are the greatest gift. Too bad they are often underappreciated. I hope the child appreciates the robe he comandeered.

BALTHASAR--Are the Spartans going to have enough players to field a team on Jan 2? You did hear about all those Spartans suspended or kicked off the team for fighting. And all those times you commented, "Them's fighting words" I thought it good-natured. Not so! And now I realize your pugnacious behavior is part of the Spartan culture. We Wolverines are a much more peaceful flock.

LUCY--Is that what they call 'hoppin john'? My mother is having that today, she says. It's supposed to bring luck through the new year.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Hi Dave---I've been a real slug about blogging and see that the reason is because I never wrote everything down all these years as you do. I've been thinking about you, because Ohio State was going to play in the Rose Bowl (they did it wonderfully, too) and then you stopped by my blog. Thanks for the visit....it's so nice to see you. So, I came over and read up on a bunch of your posts (including the hunt for the perfect Christmas Tree on an ice slick). Have a Happy New Year and thanks for reminding me that I need to get my sorry muse in gear and start writing and visiting my blogger friends! Tell me what size shoes you wear and I'll make you some nifty warm socks from the land of sunshine and white sand.

7:38 PM  
Blogger CAROLDEE said...

HI Dave.. stopped by to say howdy
and hope you have a wonderful 2010
we all deserve it afte making it through '09.. I posted about what I got on today's blog..
take care : )

7:40 PM  
Anonymous SPARTY said...

Pugnacious, eh?
And what about you?
You want to sue.
Regarding today's game
What would Dave do?
Cheer a team with no coach
Or the great MSU?
(A team with no match*
Even when they're too few?)
We have an extra couch*
And a case of good brew;
Everyone's invited
To the Bowl Alamoo!*
(puns NOT intended)

10:27 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

KACEY--I did see that the Buckeyes won and though I usually like to see the Big Ten come out winners in the bowl games, it's too difficult for me to root for Ohio State, especially with Michigan on the sidelines this year. Thanks for the offer of socks. My sock drawer is full right now but I'll keep it in mind. Good to hear from you again!

CAROLDEE--Let's hope that 2010 presents fewer challenges for us than 2009. Maybe even our Michigan economy will improve. That's asking a lot though, I know.

A brew, tis true,
might tempt ole blue
to cheer the Spartans of Moo U.

But you know (he spoke)
It's isn't a joke
Those Spartans are likely to choke.

And they did.

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the Fantasy Football trophy conveniently dressed as a X-Mas ornament, or strategically placed within the nativity scene?

7:20 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

ANONYMOUS--Hea, that's a great idea! The ornament, I mean. Putting a ff trophy in a manger scene would be sacreligious, I think.

3:52 AM  

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