I do love me some kitschy Christmas stuff. I love it all over the house, inside and out. It makes me feel cheerful and jolly, hummy and smile-ful, la la la la.
We did most of the outside yesterday. First we went to buy the Christmas tree and wreaths, and then while Anthony took the kids to swim lessons, I hauled out lights and outdoor decor. It was a miraculous year, in which all our creatures lit up without any effort, and we got everything electrically daisy-chained properly.
It doesn’t look like much here, but you should see those babies when they’re lit up at night. There’s all sorts of tacky there. I just can’t photograph it for you because I don’t have a camera anymore, just an iPhone, so use your imagination.
There are lights outlining the eves of the house, and the wreaths went up this morning.
Look at that big boy over the garage. It’s about 4 feet in diameter. Too bad you can’t make out the incredibly tacky decorations we attached to it. I had to go up the 20-foot extension ladder, because Anthony gets verrrrry anxious on a tall ladder. I held the wreath over my head in a one-armed military press as I climbed. It weighed down on my back as I hung it, and then I had to kind of lay flat on the ladder as I backed down until the wreath slipped off me, pulling my shirt and coat up to my mid-back as I descended so that my plumber butt and waistline blubber were fully aired out. I’m pretty sure Anthony, who was steadying the ladder for me from below, was well entertained. I hope no one was walking by.
The house doesn’t light the street up like a second moon yet, so I’m thinking we need more. Maybe some reindeer, or a series of light-up candy-canes. There can never be too much kitsch, in my opinion.
After doing that, we got busy inside. We decorated the tree, of course.
It’s quite lovely. I think it’s our prettiest tree ever. We say that every year, and every year it’s true. Oops, I messed up the picture. You can’t see the two peace doves hanging out on the top of the tree. This is why I usually post blogs with no pictures. It’s not something I’m good at.
Here are some of the ornaments from the first tree Anthony and I ever shared, which I wrote about yesterday. This is a really good photo of them; they’re uglier in real life. We put them up high, right at the top of the tree where there’s almost no risk of breakage. I’m pretty sure they contain mercury, lead, and other toxic heavy metals.
Look at this lovely little bird. It’s only about 2 inches long, part of a set of a dozen or so little cloisonné birds of different colors and species, which Mom gave us after Jesse was born. I love hanging these little guys.
I also love this funky little ball covered in sand art. My brother Eric and his wife Wendy gave us this when they were still living in Arizona. It reminds me of depositions I had to attend in Phoenix when I was still a lawyer. The depositions sucked. The only good thing about those trips was that I got to see Eric and Wendy.
Here’s a salt-dough gingerbread man that Jesse decorated last year. I told you in an earlier post about how she was traumatized in K4 by the G Man’s demise. Maybe the hole I put through the middle of his head for hanging him on the tree wasn’t such a good idea. But at least she didn’t paint him blood-red, and I think the silver glitter dripping from the purple slash at his neck has a really up-beat quality.
Here are a couple ornaments Grandma (Anthony’s mom) brought back from a trip to Russia.
They were for the kids, one each, but with strict instructions that these are very precious and must be treated with absolute and unrelenting carefulness. Yes you may hang your ornaments, but DON’T BREAK THEM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Here’s another of my favorites, a hand-painted clay butterfly (one of three) we received as wedding favors many years ago from a nice couple who married when we were still in Washington, D.C. There was a lot of salsa dancing at the wedding. They actually hired an instructor to help people dance during the reception. So Anthony and I did not dance. We slouched at our table and drank. We fell asleep while we were taking the metro home and woke up at the end of the line. I can’t remember if we were able to take a return train or if we had to catch a cab at that point. It was a long night. But we took home our butterflies. We weren’t sure what to do with them, but I rigged them up with some yarn and now we hang them on our tree every year.
There’s all sorts of other kitsch in the house too. The snow globes.
The creepy night lights.
Less creepy when they’re turned off.
Anthony’s LeMax and related collection.
Not done yet, still more.
More trivets and cloth things I’ve made in Christmasy fabrics, because arts and crafts, yawn. I mean, yay.
The peace message on the hearth.
The advent calendar, which I bought for something like 2 dollars at Target one year.
The giant nutcracker, who just today threatened to haunt Nick’s nightmares if Nick breaks him. (“What does ‘haunt nightmares’ mean, mommy?”)
And three more in diminishing order.
That little red bowl to the left of the crackers contains caramel chocolates, which Jesse left for the elves. (Say “crackers contains caramel chocolates” many times, over and over again.)
The elf visitation is an unfortunate tradition that developed spontaneously a few years ago. Apparently the elves like to come into our house on random evenings for treats. Jesse leaves them notes with the treats.
“Thank you for giving us great presents at Christmas!” I don’t yet know what the note inside the envelope says. I love that Jesse is being so appreciative before the fact. I thought for sure the treat and note would be received well, but Anthony and I fell asleep early and, interestingly enough, the elves did not come. The bowl and note were untouched this morning, much to Jesse’s quiet dismay. I opined that maybe the elves were busy elsewhere cheering up sad kids, or making toys. Maybe decorating would inspire them to stop by tonight! We’ll see.
Meanwhile, my kids are really enjoying the kitsch and Christmas cheer all over the house. Here they are, basking in the glow of all the decorations as they stare at their iPads. It makes all my hard work worthwhile.