Archive for December, 2015

It’s a Wrap!

December 19, 2015

It took several days, but the wrapping is finished. Whew!

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Now I can clean up the wrapping mess in the bedroom and not have to dodge paper, sacks, boxes, etc. if I have to get up at night to make that much needed trip to the ladies room.

And if you look close enough, you can see one of the reindeer standing guard over the packages for Santa.

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Wrapping Ready

December 17, 2015

I like to set up a place to wrap presents where I can leave all the paper, tape, tags, etc. out and ready for me to sit and wrap when I have a few minutes. In years past, I’ve had to leave it all on the kitchen table and it was a mess to have to look at and deal with until all presents were wrapped. Since we added on to the bedroom, I have a little extra space to set up a card table and keep the mess out of sight for the most part.

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I used to wrap a lot of gifts. All the kids and the grandkids as they came along would receive a “stocking” with ten gifts apiece in addition to several other “big” gifts. I would wrap them all — even the “stocking” stuffers down to the smallest item. After all the grandkids were here, I was wrapping 120 gifts just for the stockings alone!! But this was Christmas for me — watching all of them tearing into their stockings all at the same time. What fun!

Giving lots of gifts for me goes back to my childhood, I suppose. We were what you would consider “poor” as far as money goes. My mom had to raise three children on her own, (my dad passed away when we were 5, 3, and 2 years old), and she had bad health so couldn’t work a steady job. If it hadn’t been for my grandma and aunt, I’m sure we would have had a much more difficult time.

However, not a Christmas would go by that we kids didn’t have a wonderful time with lots of family around and a Christmas morning with lots of gifts under the tree. I don’t know how “Santa” did it, but we always had several gifts apiece and always the “big one” that was our wish and dream.

After our children started coming along, I wanted their Christmases to be like the ones I remembered. We didn’t have a lot of extra money back then, but I would save all year or buy things I knew they might like to have during the year when I found them on sale, etc.   Then Christmas morning I had more fun than they did watching them tear into their gifts.

This feeling of giving didn’t go away when the kids started leaving the nest. I tried to keep the family together and have Christmases like always before. In time, however, I could see that I was having more fun than the kids, so I’ve slowed down the giving a little. No more “stockings” for the older ones. The two youngest grandsons will still get a stocking, but they too are getting older. Soon these Christmases will only be memories. I have to admit that not having to wrap all those little gifts did give me a feeling of freedom. Getting older is starting to wear on me whether I want to admit it or not. 🙂

Most of the family still gets together for the Christmas holidays; so instead of stockings, I give away gifts in my little give-away game. I’m having fun with this idea right now, but the “kids” are just humoring me, I think. This plan will fall by the wayside one of these days as well, I’m sure.

I guess I’m just trying to hang on to those “olden” days that brought me so much pleasure. As my mom told me once, “time changes things, people change, and you just have to accept it.”

 

Three More Birthdays and One To Go

December 16, 2015

My Sis’s birthday was Dec. 5. Her family always has a “party” with cake and ice cream and gifts for the birthday person. They usually wait until the weekend to celebrate because it’s more convenient for everyone. But since her birthday was on a Sat. this year, I knew they would all be at her house that evening. I didn’t want to interfere, so I went over to her house early enough in the day to not upset any plans they had.

She seemed to be pretty relaxed and my “quick visit” turned into a couple of hours of just sitting and visiting with her. It was really nice. We haven’t done that in a long time.

I presented her with a couple of items that I’d painted just for her. I dressed everything in blue because that’s her favorite color.

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The little bell ornament has snowmen and snowflakes painted on it. She gave me two of these bells (unpainted) a while back. I painted both of them the same. One I kept and entered into the Fair and the other I saved to give back to her on her birthday.

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One day a few months ago as I was thumbing through some of my painting books looking for new ideas, I came across the picture of this frog. Immediately I thought of my sis and her collection of frogs. I found a distressed-looking pail (she’s into the distressed look as well as I) and painted this cute frog on it. She acted like she really liked it!

A week later was my son’s and grandson’s birthdays. Our first grandson was born on my son’s birthday but they’re uncle and nephew. Son lives in KC so he got a card and money sent to him. Easy!

Grandson lives here in town, so I made him a cookie cake and he got a card and money as well.

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We went to their house and had a nice visit with him and his dad.

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We also found out that he just got his first car about a week ago. They were still doing paperwork on it, so he hasn’t had a chance to drive it yet! But he paid cash for it so he won’t have payments. How great is that!

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The only other birthday this year is our youngest grandson’s special day two days after Christmas. He lives in KC but will be here for Christmas. He’s too young to appreciate money yet, so he’ll get a gift and if I feel energetic enough, maybe I’ll make him a cookie cake as well. He’s still young enough to have fun blowing out candles. 🙂

 

 

The Tree Is Up!

December 15, 2015

Well, it’s been up for a couple of weeks, but as slow as I am at getting around to things anymore, I’m just now posting about it.

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Our tree looks the same every year because it’s the same fake tree and all the same decorations.

In a way, I kind of dread getting that big tree down from the attic, putting it together, and getting all those decorations put on it. It’ll take me all of one afternoon to get it done. It’s a lot of work for this ol’ gal who’s getting older every year! Ha!

But after the tree is put together and I start going through the ornaments, I find it’s kind of relaxing and meditating to take my time, handle each ornament individually and remember where it came from or who gave it to us. For years (and I still do this) I make a new ornament for our tree every year. Usually it’s one that I’ve made to put in the Fair that year.

Of course I still have some of the ornaments that my kids made in school or Sunday school. They’re sure showing their age but I can’t get rid of them! (Maybe the kids will take them one of these days and decorate their own trees with them.) And back when the kids were small, I had a lot of friends who had kids the same age and we would exchange a handmade ornament every year. Such memories!

Now that our grandsons are beginning to venture out into the world to be on their own, I’ve been making them an ornament to hang on their own trees. Whether they’ve been keeping the ornaments or not is their business. But if they have, then one day as they’re helping their own families decorate their tree, maybe they’ll take a few moments when they pick up one of my ornaments, and reflect on their Grandma a little.

 

More Downsizing

December 4, 2015

I crawled around in the attic the other day and brought all of the Christmas decorations down. ALL of them. Some of these decorations haven’t been used in years.

With downsizing on my mind since retiring three years ago, I decided that some of this has to go as well.

I’m getting too old to care about decorating the whole house for holidays anymore. I remember my mom coming to this stage in her life and thinking, “Gee, I hope I never get too old to decorate!” Because at the time, I really enjoyed doing that. But, alas, I’ve reached that age. Just getting up in the attic and crawling around and bringing it all downstairs is getting to be too much for this old lady anymore.

But I digress.

The main thing I want to use to decorate for Christmas is the tree (which I’m leaning more and more toward getting a smaller one and doing away with a lot of the tree decorations as well.) and lots of lights. I’ll always love Christmas lights. The look of all the lights lit up in the evening is so beautiful and has such a peaceful and calming feeling to me.

Of course there’s a few favorite and sentimental items that I’ll keep for now, but most everything else will be going. Totes and totes of everything else.

While we were bringing everything down from the attic, (Hubby didn’t think there was an end to it!), some of the totes and three trees went right into the truck to be hauled away. The rest went into the sunroom

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for me to go through and decide what to keep and what to get rid of, which is what I did today. Now there’s a few more totes ready for the truck.

Tomorrow I’ll put the tree up and all the lights I want to use. Then what’s left over will go into the truck as well.

It’s kind of a nice feeling to get rid of junk that’s been around for too long. Maybe my desire to hold on to “things” is slowly giving way to my feelings of claustrophobia. Ha!