Peace In A Tin Can

Peace In A Tin Can

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fixing the Christmas Lights

It's a tradition.  Every Thanksgiving weekend since I was a child, the house was decorated for the Christmas season.  Long before Black Friday, we had Twinkle Friday, a magical day when all the clear mini lights suddenly adorn the trees, fireplace, and wreaths.  I love decorating my house for Christmas on Twinkle Friday.

This year as I pulled all the boxes and totes out from the basement, I realized it has been quite some time since we bought any new decorations.  While I decorated, it occurred to me that it really is time to get some new decorations.  Only this time, my husband is banned from Christmas decoration shopping.

A few years ago, I asked my husband to build me a manger for the nativity set.  He took an old rose trellis, broke it in half, and stapled burlap to it.  The burlap does not fare well outdoors.

Then there's the tote in the basement full of strings of lights that no longer work.  It's been sitting there since November 1998, when my husband told me not to buy any new lights, because he could fix those.  Every year I have fewer and fewer lights outside.  Still waiting…

A couple of years ago Scuba bought a really cute light-up snowman for my courtyard.  After one year, the lights no longer worked.  So I pulled them all off, and tried to re-string the snowman with new lights.  By day, he's a cheery friend by the bonfire, but by night, he's a big blue blob of light.

Ten years ago, we bought a whole bunch of red bows at the Dollar Store to brighten up the fence.  We are still using them, though the mice have apparently been using them as well.

I was delighted a few years ago when Scuba brought home a beautiful indoor nativity scene for the living room.  But then my daughter dropped one of the Wise Men, and his hand fell off.  Every year when I set the nativity up, I glue his hand back on, and every year, it falls off the next day.  Nowhere in the Bible does it reference a handicapped Wise Man, but we have one.

Likewise with the ceramic Elf's feet.  I have a very old and beautiful set of four ceramic elves that I inherited from my late grandmother.  When my son was young, he was playing with them and dropped the standing elf.  The footless Elf has to lean against the hearth now.

Last year I bought new table decorations, which include little sparkly styrofoam balls.  The cat never even noticed them last year, but this year, she won't leave them alone.  I find styrofoam balls with little teeth marks in them under the table, in the living room, the sunroom, and unless our cat lays golden eggs, I'm pretty sure I scooped one out of the litter box this morning.

These are all things I can live with (though I'm not sure the cat can).  The minor marks on decorations that have been used and enjoyed by my family for years just make them that much more endearing.  However, I have to draw the line with Ralph and Stella.

Google Images
Remember The Elf on the Shelf?  I sent Scuba out to buy the beloved elf with the storybook.  Even though our kids are not little anymore, I thought it would be fun to hide the little elf each day and watch them look for him.  But Scuba didn't buy The Elf on the Shelf.  He came home with Ralph and Stella instead.

Maybe my husband is conducting an experiment to see if he can
introduce an unreasonable fear of Christmas in our children.  If so, it's working.  Hiding Ralph and Stella is not as easy as a tiny little elf.  Add to that the fact that Ralph and Stella are just plain creepy and you have the perfect scenario to induce nightmares and cold sweats every time "Jingle Bells" is heard.

I fear that Ralph and Stella may meet with an unfortunate accident in the near future.  Their days are numbered, folks.

I think next year, on Twinkle Friday, the kids and I are going to Bronners to buy a few new decorations.  Scuba can stay home and fix the lights.