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I don't celebrate Christmas much. It doesn't fit with my religion or lack thereof. But, I've managed to partake most years anyway.

I have a big, nice, artificial tree that I have decided is too much trouble and too big for my new house. I didn't put it up last year either, so the "too big for the new house" is an extra, new excuse that I like.

What is surprising me is that I want to decorate my front porch. I am super in the mood. I had a revelation tonight, while wondering why I am feeling so festive in this way. It occurred to me just moments ago, that by decorating outside, I can share it with someone or someones even if I don't know who they are.

My plans are under the squashed, orange mistletoe if you want to see. A kiss under the mistletoe is sometimes observed, but not required.

christmas lights
I don't want to put lights up everywhere, partly because it is too difficult these days for me to do a nice job, mostly because I don't want to add to the electricity use for environmental reasons. Instead of being proud of a brightly lighted house, I would feel ashamed of the excess. I have tons of lights from previous years.



The front porch has two vertical wood beams on each side on the steps, and I've made twin Christmassy decorations for them.

firbranchEach is a fir branch to which I've added shiny silver and red bells, pine cones, and a small fake apple. I used thin green wire from a craft store to attach everything, and to make a loop to hang it with. Simple, but I think, nice. :) I look at them and think, "Yeah, I like them. :)"

I made them tonight, sitting here by the computer and tv. I think that's a very bad sign. I recall previous years when I had my crafts table and there wasn't even a computer or tv in the room, and of course I went all day offline and off news. Now I seem to need them nearby and here I am cutting wire at my desk.

Some green fir garland will be wrapped around the wooden porch railing, and another strand of lighted garland will be added to it. I guess I will succumb to a few lights. :) It's difficult. The extension cord has 3 outlets, so I'm already thinking, "what else can I plug in?!"

There is a small basket for a table on the porch, too. Just threw in artificial ivy, artificial silvery leaves, a big red pine cone, red berries, indoor decorations from past Christmases. It's all just sitting in there, not anchored in any way. I'll see how it does in the wind and weather and may have to fix it.

Ornaments
Another idea I have that I hope to see how it looks tomorrow is to just put  Christmas tree decorations, regular ball ornaments and stuff, in terra cotta pots on the steps of the porch. I'll secure them together through their loop hangers rather than putting them in loose or ruining them with glue. I'm looking around the house tonight for something I can put in the bottom of the pots so the balls are just nearer the top rather than balls all the way down. :) Seems like it might be a fun decoration for the steps. Maybe add a green twig or two.

wreath
And, of course I have a Christmas wreath from years past that I'm going to hang on the porch wall instead of the door. I found hooks that go into siding and the hook is ready for tomorrow. My new house has a screen door and I don't see an easy way to hang a wreath on it at the moment. This will give me something to think about and create later since all my decorating will be done tomorrow. :)

Doesn't it all sound simple and pretty? If it all turns out worth a flip, I hope to take a picture or two and post them around Christmas.

Is it too early? Is anyone else decorating?

Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 4:52 AM PT: Thank you so much Community Spotlight rangers! :) A first for me. What a nice surprise to wake up to. Very sweet of you. Merry Christmas!

Originally posted to OLinda ☕ on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:54 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Poll

I am decorating

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| 260 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  It's just the right time to decorate. (4+ / 0-)

      Great diary OLinda, rec'd and tipped.

      Many people decorate right after Thanksgiving. Especially nowadays with artificial trees.

      Decorating now gives one a longer time to enjoy the decorations.

      Christmas is my favorite holiday and can never start too early as far as I'm concerned.

      I have a new diary I think everyone will like. ♥November Is Native American Heritage Month♥

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:04:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My thoughts exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OLinda, Onomastic, pamelabrown

        I always decorate for Christmas on the Sunday after Thanksgiving --  

        Lots of time to enjoy the lights and sparkle -- and I do not take it down until the Sunday after New Years...

        "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

        by sara seattle on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:20:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I like the white lights (6+ / 0-)

          that so many people put around their doors and in windows. Makes dog-walking at night much more pleasant at this dark time of year.

          Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

          by Mnemosyne on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:00:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am a christmas light maven (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OLinda, Mnemosyne, greengemini

            Boxes of weird and wonderful lights- chili peppers, covered wagons, cowboy boots with bucking broncos, traditional sparkly pine cones, tractors, airstream campers, flamingos and others that i have forgotten about until i open that box.

            I like to use them the way i have seen in Italian neighborhoods, with the lights inside the house, lining every window and door frame frame...from the outside, your house looks beautiful and you needn't battle the cold.

            Target used to have the most unusual lights, i am sure all made in china...there is no such store within 75 miles anymore and i didn't add to my collection this year.

            •  another interior decoration, (0+ / 0-)

              with no electric consumption, is to put out large decorative bowls full of colored tree ornaments.

              One of the houses up the street has a front window box mounded full of silver, gold, red, and green ornaments. Pretty.

              Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

              by Mnemosyne on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:30:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  it's after Thanksgiving (21+ / 0-)

    around here the trees went up friday! I plan to hang some lights and a wreath on my front porch.

    "At least we ain’t Lazarus and had to think twice about dying" - Ray Wylie Hubbard

    by Wordsinthewind on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:19:17 PM PST

  •  Go for it - outdoor decorations can be a nice (27+ / 0-)

    gift to your neighbors, and to yourself as well, since you will be greeted by your decorations every time you come and go.  

    You might even find yourself taking more walks in your neighborhood.

  •  I bought a wreathe with battery-driven (19+ / 0-)

    colored lights and I use rechargeable batteries, so that's kewlio.  Bought new exterior lights (one set for an outside tree also battery driven and I got a timer) and two new strands of white lights for the fence (which I use VERY sparingly all year so i can see where I'm walking). Those will get replaced soon by battery driven motion sensored lights as soon as I order them. I have fallen on the uneven stairs (both up and down) and don't want that happening again any time soon.

    I have garland for the bird feeding poles and other things outside and am decorating the outside tree with bulbs, etc. And I wear a silly Santa hat so I do get in the mood.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:27:05 PM PST

  •  It sounds truly lovely :) (29+ / 0-)

    I climbed into the closet of holding yesterday and pulled out the boxes of decorations. It's the only time I really regret being short, because there isn't room for a step ladder or a chair or a stool. I live with roommates and we live very separate lives, so all the decorating with me in my bedroom, sadly :(  I'm getting the rest of the room ready, but decluttering and putting stuff away, so it will hopefully peaceful. I have a lovely large real wood entertainment centre that will be the focus of the decorations :)

    This year, because my mom died on December 17th, for the first time, I have several of the family decorations, including some made when my parents were first together. They didn't have any money, so they got styrafoam cups and spray painted them gold, and cut designs in them, including a Japanese Snow Spirit my dad did, and they got styrafoam balls and drew designs on them with crayons, including one with stripes my mom did. Seeing these definitely made me wistful.

    We used to put up the tree on Christmas Eve, in fact after our yard got full of living Christmas trees we had planted after using them each year, it became tradition for Dad to go out on Christmas Eve and look for a tree that wasn't going to have a home from the lots selling them that had closed. We came to truly appreciate Charlie Brown Christmas trees :) Now, I decorate on the first day of Advent, which is next Sunday, and keep everything up until Epiphany.

    Merry Christmas ! May you be surrounded by love.

                               Hugs,
                               Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:44:46 PM PST

    •  May you be filled with love too, Heather (16+ / 0-)

      Very heartwarming post, too.

      I can almost picture the yard!

      We used to put up the tree on Christmas Eve, in fact after our yard got full of living Christmas trees we had planted after using them each year, it became tradition for Dad to go out on Christmas Eve and look for a tree that wasn't going to have a home from the lots selling them that had closed. We came to truly appreciate Charlie Brown Christmas trees :)
    •  Thank you, Cachounne. (13+ / 0-)

      So sorry for your loss. It is nice to have the ornaments and memories of your mom and dad, even if wistful.

      I have memories of home made decorations, but they involved the usual popcorn, macaroni, craft paper and glitter.  Sure wish I still had them. Don't know where things went after I left home eons ago.

      A decorated bedroom sounds fun. That is the room that would often get left out. :) Enjoy your day decorating, the new lovely sights of the season, Chacounne, and Merry Christmas to you too.

    •  ((((((((((hi, Chacounne!))))))))))) (8+ / 0-)

      that sure sounds like your folks, always so creative & artistic, both of them!! wow, what did the "Japanese Snow Spirit" look like? when I google, just about everything that comes up image-wise is a beautiful, scantily-clad woman! (the Yuki-onna?) of course, I can see your dad doing that, too, 8-)

      we've always been an early-tree family. since my birthday (chimene's) is Dec 4, we usually collect a tree around my birthday and put it up just after. that's 3 weeks before. and we usually, lately, take it down on New Year's, although in earlier years we often left it up 'til Epiphany.

      we tend to leave the outside lights up for a LONG time, as it helps with the dark (Gerek's got SAD REAL good!). we converted all the lights to LED's within the last several years, except for one string to attach the Hallmark Star Trek & Star Wars spaceships to, 8-)

      best wishes for a sweet holiday!

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:18:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ((((((((((((((chimene))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OLinda

        Yup, both of them :)
        I can take a photo of it, but I still haven't learned how to get photos from my phone to my computer. I know there has to be a way, just not sure how. Sorry, I will keep trying. If you kosmail me your email address, I will send you photos from the Clinton memorial.
        Dad always called it a Japanese Snow Spirit, but I have no idea where he got it from; it's one of the questions I should have asked. It looks like an old man with long hair and a long beard.

        I didn't realize your birthday was so close to Mom's :) That's so cool :) Happy early birthday ! May the day and your year ahead be filled with love and inspiration and a new home north of the border :) That makes complete sense on the tree :) Sorry about Gerek's SAD :( That can be REALLY rough :(

        Have a lovely and loving holiday, if we don't connect before.

                    Love and Hugs,
                         Melissa

        Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

        by Chacounne on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:46:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've been decorating (16+ / 0-)

    for one for the last 5 years, since my youngest left the nest.  Haven't put up a tree for just myself, but I'm seriously considering it this year since I''ll be staying at home. I've been gone 3 of the last 5 years, visiting in SF and LV, but I still didn't want to have a bare house- it just invites loneliness and maybe even burglars. I've also tried very hard to not buy more stuff, but I splurged on 2 new sets of lighted garland this year- mostly because I got tired of twisting working light strands together in order to make one continuous strand, lol. I also got them cheap. My reward: my son is coming home for Christmas. I'm so glad I decided to put stuff up the day before Thanksgiving when it was 60 degrees.

  •  We always start right after Thanksgiving. (11+ / 0-)

    And this year, we'll be away for a week during the season, so may as well have it up to enjoy while it makes sense.

    Three trees. Some lights on the porch. We don't really go all out in the yard. But something is nice. I have several nativities up year-round, like hand-made stained glass that is impossible to really safely pack up and some neat artistic, ones of various ethnicities. During Christmas, I think we're at 10 actively on display. LOL.

    Plus the village, which is not themed or fancy. I say it's timeless because of Christmas magic. There are some city things and a castle and random sorts of businesses we enjoy.

    But walking through the house with lights and sweet-smelling candles, I have to say fills me with great joy. It doesn't matter I'm not having tons of company. It matters that it makes me feel peaceful and happy.

    www.stacysmusings.wordpress.com

    by Magenta on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:03:49 PM PST

  •  Alot of people sure get into it (7+ / 0-)

    around my neighborhood. Some of the set-ups I see must consume about one megawatt of electricity per day, each.

    I've personally never been into it, but that's more a result of just not being into holidays in general. I won't spoil your fun though, OLinda... Have at it!

    Just try to keep it under a megawatt, mkay?

    ;-)

    -
    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:11:42 PM PST

  •  We've Moved to LED Lights. I'll Be Dec'ing for 1 (17+ / 0-)

    as Herself will be house sitting for a nomadic friend over the winter. So I've got just a modest display of LED's outlining our new front porch for very low wattage which feels good carbon-wise.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:17:39 PM PST

  •  I just bought LEDs for the first time. (14+ / 0-)

    We live in a small town that is in danger of evaporating.  Christmas decorations are a way we tell the world we are still here, and reassure each other that we still care. I put up the outside lights on the eaves yesterday.  I will buy a tree this week and do the inside. LEDs make me feel better about the juice I'm using.

    •  telling the world. (7+ / 0-)

      Christmas decorations are a way we tell the world we are still here, and reassure each other that we still care.

      What a sweet sentiment. Uplifting and a feeling of community.

      I don't know what statement I am making with my decorations. Will have to think about that. Telling the world I'm still here fits a bit for me too. :) And, just trying to spread a little cheer.

    •  The very first time I traveled to the States (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda, 2laneIA, greengemini

      it was around Christmas time -- and I was in awe as I looked out of the window on the plane and looked at the cities below all lit up with jewel colors --

      Cities below looked like the most amazing expensive jewelry.

      I had never seen anything like it flying in Europe -- so it was such an amazing experience to watch it hours on end from one little city to the next.

      "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

      by sara seattle on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:39:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  lights went up on the first boat Thursday night (9+ / 0-)

    but I have a tiny boat and a tiny menorah to match.

    I sure do like lights in general - I use them in my sukkah - and appreciate other people's dedication to the power company in December. Particularly the simple ones, not the seizure inducing ones.

    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

    by Mortifyd on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:43:58 PM PST

  •  I love to decorate for the holidays (6+ / 0-)

    When I get the Christmas decorations out each year, it is like opening gifts for me.  I have two artificial trees (one large and on table top) that I load up with ornaments, just for my own selfish enjoyment.  Yep, I am a kid.  This year, I am beginning to invest in LED lights for my large tree and hope to be completely LED by next year.

    I also put artificial wreaths on the windows in the front of the house and one on the door.  One year, I put an old artificial tree on the front porch and loaded it up with red balls, no lights.  Up close, it was not much to look at, but from a distance, it was pretty for those passing by.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:18:47 AM PST

  •  Poll (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl, sara seattle

    Finally getting a few votes for frosting on the pie!:)

  •  I also live alone (7+ / 0-)

    and for several years have been in financial distress.  I have 3 kids and 1 granddaughter.  I no longer exchange gifts with my kids, though I do fill a stocking for each of them.  I buy my grandchild an outfit to wear and a toy.  This year I am getting her a small table and chair set with art stuff.  She is only 2 years old, but loves to color with crayons.

    I have a small round table that I use as a base for a small (real) tree.  The trees I buy are usually 5 feet or smaller.  It just makes it easier to decorate and manage.  Trying to get an 8 foot tree to stand up straight in a base with those little screw keys is impossible unless you have help.

    My front porch is the place where I have the most decorations:  a large wreath, a tall cylindrical 'vase' filled with round ornaments and tiny white lights, my flower boxes are filled with things like nutcracker dolls and pine cones, and I have fake garland that I have had for 30 years that still looks fine that I use to decorate the railings.

    I started decorating yesterday.  It will take me a week to get all my stuff up from the basement.  Stairs bother my ankles, back, legs....so I spread out the trips over several days.  It works for me.

    I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

    by DamselleFly on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:37:49 AM PST

    •  grandchild. (5+ / 0-)

      What a lucky grandbaby. :) The chair and table is a perfect gift for a little one. I can picture her sitting at it and coloring.

      Yes, if I ever have a tree again, it will be small, on a table. The last time I put my big one up was just too difficult. It actually took me more than one night after work to get it put up and decorated. As I look back on it, it seems it became more work than fun. Not good. Although it was beautiful when done.

      Hmm, flower boxes. :) You have reminded me I have a plant stand with 3 now empty pots on it out there. While opening  boxes looking for ornaments, I'll watch for items to put in them. Yours sound so pretty.

      I love your sig line. :)

    •  My daughter's favorite Christmas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda, DamselleFly

      was a few years ago, when she got lots of craft stuff. She was a bit older, about 6. But we got her those little ceramic figures to paint, a set of small jars of paint, a mulitpack of varied brushes, water colors, crayons, markers, colored pencils, two packs of computer paper, stickers, scissors, a ruler, glue sticks and tape. These as well as some small kits, and some of those plastic drawers to keep everything in. Every year we take stock of what she has and Santa brings her replacements for what she's out of or low on.

      Santa's made a lot of trips over the years, but I have to say that the presents she got that year were things she used almost every single day for the next year. Unlike other highly wanted toys that get played with for a few weeks and then lay in the toy box.
      It was also one of the most inexpensive Christmases.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:56:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love the new leds (5+ / 0-)

    but I don't use them for Christmas either...I use them all year 'round & when camping, lol...but my menorah is ready. I buy a few boxes of candles every year so I can light the candles a few times each night!

    ...inspiration moves me brightly

    by wbr on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:58:19 AM PST

  •  Going All Out Here (5+ / 0-)

    I have a really big tree (6 1/2 feet) that I'll be putting up come December 1st. I am trying to finish Christmas gifts first. We can't decorate outside the apartment but inside is going to be decorated to the max. I have my things and several things that belonged to my late parents. I am decorating for me, two kitties and my niece and her children. I love Christmas time.One of my favorite decorations was a wreath I made one year when I was very short on money. It is made from a wire coat hanger, left over ribbon, small ornaments, and lots of hot glue.

    Photobucket

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:30:08 AM PST

    •  To the max! :) (4+ / 0-)

      Sounds wonderful, michelewin. That wreath is beautiful. The homemade ones are so much nicer and more meaningful.

      I've never tried making a wreath, but have sure thought about it. Maybe this year is the year. I like to have a wreath on the door at various times of year, not just Christmas. (Now they will hang on the siding.) I have a flowery spring wreath, and a small, heart-shaped, red wreath for February.

      It is hard to find ones I like in the stores, and when I do, they are expensive. Would be nice to custom make some for different times of year and different holidays.

  •  Your home will be lovely!! (4+ / 0-)

    idea to save some $$ on electricity-use a timer
    they make ones that can handle the outdoors-set to turn on and off.

    For my neighborhood-kind of quiet later in the evening so I set the lights to come on just past dusk-around 5:30 and the to go off at 10.

    I don't forget to turn them off and on a chilly night, not running around outside to turn them off.

    Happy Holidays!

    There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it. ~Author Unknown

    by VA Breeze on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:40:39 AM PST

    •  Thank you, VA. (3+ / 0-)

      I do have a timer around here somewhere that I have used to turn inside lights on and off when away. I think I even know where it is! :)

      I moved in here in late July, and embarrassed to say, I still have boxes I have not unpacked. Pretty sure the timer is in a drawer that moved as is. :)

      It was summer when I moved in, so I pretty much unpacked the necessities and then enjoyed the summer instead of organizing. Now that it is colder outside, I am finishing up.

      An advantage of living alone. I didn't have to unpack if I didn't feel like it. :)

      Happy Holidays to you.

  •  Bah, (6+ / 0-)

    humbug!  This next month is something to be endured, with gritted teeth.  

    •  Good luck, LLPete. (5+ / 0-)

      I do know what you mean. I have been there, and am halfway still there. My little porch is my big celebration.

      The recent big event shopping days were hard to watch, huh? I will never understand people who camp out to get in a store first for a so-called bargain. It's a sad state of affairs. What pressure they must be under to buy, buy buy.

      Was it Friday when all day on the tv the news was about "Wow, look at all the shoppers!" Every channel, that was the big news. I had to turn the tv off.

      I hope you endure it okay, and have peaceful days.

  •  Religion aside (5+ / 0-)

    most of us in the Northern Hemisphere seem to feel the need of seasonal holidays.

    Midwinter is the time to counter darkness with light.

    When the kids are all out on their own (not around to do the work, in other words) we'll stop having a Christmas tree.

    But I'll still want extra candles in the house, ribbons, greenery here and there, and luminarias in the yard on Christmas Eve.

    "I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands no more." - Popeye the Sailor Man

    by congenitalefty on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:40:53 AM PST

    •  light. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sara seattle

      I never thought about it that way, but now that you mention it, the Christmas outdoor lights do brighten it up from the days that now get dark so early, and the greenery makes up for the brown lawns. If anytime of year needs a little decorating it's winter in Colorado. :) Wonder if it will be white this year.

  •  My Porch currently holds boxes of decorations. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, a gilas girl, sara seattle

    My daughter helped me go through them after Thanksgiving.  I separated out some of the old ornaments from years past to give to each of my adult children this year.

    The tree will be "elegant"- red and gold with angels.  I think I'll put luminarias outside if company comes, otherwise a menorah in the window and a wreath on the door.  Maybe red twig dogwood branches in the empty planters outside.

    I'll have to move the tomato plants on the sideboard by the window so I can put up a Nativity scene.

    A friend suggested making wreaths of the ornaments I no longer use to give to friends and family.  Maybe next year.

    One Washington-Inslee! One Country-Obama!

    by yakimagrama on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:20:03 AM PST

  •  Wow! Now I want to do "a little" on the porch! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, a gilas girl, sara seattle

    Just white lights so I can leave them up.

    Frankly, I haven't put up a thing since bu$hCo took office. All the holiday stuff is up in the attic and probably full of silverfish (they tarnish when they die, srsly), so ehhhhhh.

    I ♥ President Obama. ~ Yes, we did. Again.
    NOW: Hands off SocSec, Medicare and Medicaid. NO Grand Bargain.
    Rich pay a bit more. DoD take a bit less. End war on Afghanistan sooner.

    by OleHippieChick on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:26:24 AM PST

  •  i love lights (4+ / 0-)

    i have a hard time with decorating a tree because the ornaments bring back bittersweet memories of my mom.

    i will probably get a tabletop tree and put lights on it, and I will put lights in my windows.

    I always decorate my apartment door.  I cover the whole thing with pretty paper and then put bows and other stuff on it, including miniature stockings.

    but that's all.  my mom was very fond of xmas and went into her final decline at this time so I still have trouble with xmas after five years.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:47:12 AM PST

    •  If I may... (0+ / 0-)

      Have you considered that since your Mom was so fond of Christmas --

      that it might just be special for you with lots of wonderful memories if you decide to honor her fondness for Christmas and "join" her celebration...

      "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

      by sara seattle on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:47:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, i have considered that (0+ / 0-)

        the times i have been happy at xmas these last few years it has been because I was honoring her love of Xmas :-D

        "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
        Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

        by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:37:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have this enormous pencil plant (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, FloridaSNMOM, sara seattle

    that i like to decorate.  When my kid was small and lived with me, I did the whole Christmas tree thing, now he's a surly teenager, so I just leave the decorating to one of his dads, who's a stickler for the designer look.

    I'm a bit more homespun, so it's best if I don't "help".

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:51:17 AM PST

  •  Traditionally we decorate the weekend after (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, Dvalkure, Mayfly, sara seattle

    Thanksgiving. But I can't handle that much all together any more health wise. Right now the plan is to decorate next weekend, if I'm feeling up to it, otherwise it will be the week after. I'll do some minor rearranging later in the week to accommodate the tree. I'm considering doing some kind of decorating on the front porch, at the door we don't use, partly so people stop trying to use it.
    Our decorations have been scaled down a bit due to my health issues. Once the kids are both grown and out, I'm sure we'll still do some decorating, but I'll probably scale down again. Get a smaller tree, and maybe a pre-lit so I don't have to mess with lights. I kind of like what I call the "Abby tree" I've seen, almost a black with white lights (reminds of something Abby from NCIS would buy). But I doubt my other half would go for it LOL.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:58:48 AM PST

  •  For the pots (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, OLinda, sara seattle

    If you have newspaper, you can wad some up to take up the space at the bottom of the pots.  if you're concerned about the paper getting wet from exposure, you probably have a plastic bag around to put the paper in...

  •  We meant to put up a tree yesterday ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, sara seattle

    but were too lazy. Next weekend, we will.

    We're going to have a no-present Christmas, just put up a tree and bake and eat and listen to music. Maybe some candy in stockings, but that's it.

    I love doing the porch, lights twisted down the two pillars (sounds like you have a similar set-up).

    Now you've gotten me in the spirit! Please post photos when you get done!

  •  My wreaths go up on either side of porch steps by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, sara seattle

    the winter solstice.  We live in an old urban neighborhood where houses are backed by alleys (in the early 1900s the alleys were there for horse-drawn deliveries).

    Along the alleys now, I can find holly, cedar, bittersweet, pine cones, etc.  

    Save the Home Planet

    by Mayfly on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:12:28 PM PST

  •  I love Christmas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda

    And my house is decorated inside and out -- My tree is up - my front door planters are decorated -- my kitchen and family room windows are decorated.  

    The fire is going -- the parties are being planned --

    The extra lights in the house and outside -- makes everything so lovely ....

    Yes, I love Christmas...

    "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

    by sara seattle on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:17:51 PM PST

  •  I only decorated for my Mom in years past, but now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda

    that she is gone I don' t feel the impetus, much.  Last year all I had was a big Jepsom bowl full of cones.  But a jazzy door wreath caught my eye the other day and it made me think along the lines you've stated here.  Then, tonight I was poking around some things and came across one of those fabric flag shaped things you hang on your door.  THis one is blue and white and has a very stylistic green fir tree embroidered on it.  Put it up on my door immediately.  I also think I will get one of those remote socket controllers.  IT controlls three 3prong plugs and I'll use it for night time shut off of my remote controlled entertainment centers and for a remote light contol in my bedroom.  And now that you've mentioned it, maybe I'll get out  my Great Grand's cut crystal bowl and fill it with ornaments.  Now then, on to gluten free sugar free cookies and that nice Cranberry Chutney I saw on BuzzFeed.com  Thanks and Merry Christmas to you.

    GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

    by SGWM on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:25:39 AM PST

    •  Merry Christmas, SGWM. (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry about your loss of your mom, SGWM. I know that makes the holidays especially hard. Best wishes to you.

      I am finding out mission creep in decorating comes very easy.  Once you do a little bit, you kind of want to do more. I haven't even started, and am now thinking of more to do, after reading all of the comments here. You are warned! :)

      The door flag sounds pretty. I'm still thinking about what to do with the door.

      You may have read above that it didn't get above 30 degrees F here near Denver yesterday (Monday), so I didn't decorate as planned. Going to do it today. I suspect when I get the old decoration boxes out and start looking through them, my decorations will expand some. I do want it to stay simple though.

      Your beautiful bowl full of ornaments is exactly the kind of simple decoration I like. This is the first year I have thought about putting ornaments in places other than a tree. :)

  •  I don't spend Christmas at home anymore (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh, OLinda

    not since my dad died.  I go up to my mom's house for every holiday / long weekend.  

    So I decorate her house, putting up some of the things my dad would have put up (Grinching all the while, but doing it for her, as I do).  

    I put up a few lights in her hedge, wind lighted garland around her lamp post (because all of the neighbors do - it's the HOA "sanctioned" decoration), a wreath on her door...

    Inside I put up her little table top tree in her front window and we get out the decorations made by friends long passed - the wooden reindeer, the puzzle mouse, the framed tree made out of twinkie lights and garland, the beaded candle holders, crocheted table runners, and assorted flower centerpieces.  

    It makes her sad at first - every single thing she digs out of the box is a reminder of so many friends gone before her.  She went to 3 funerals last week.  My mom is 86.  Her next door neighbor, the only one she's close to in the neighborhood is 91.  The bright spot in her week was celebrating one friend's 100th birthday at church.  

    I hate going up there.  I can't convince her to sell her house and come live with me, or at least get a little condo close to me (I live 300 miles away).  I'm starting to worry that people are taking advantage of her - the idiot landscaper who charged her $800 for $100 worth of replacement rocks for her flower beds, because he was "recommended" by a snowbird neighbor and she was fretting that the flower beds were "ugly."  She frets about the yard a lot - my dad always did the yard work, she hates paying for mowing the lawn, trimming the shrubs, fixing the sprinklers, because it used to be "free" (despite what it cost dad in labor, parts, lawn equipment, gas, etc.).  Living in the HOA he chose 10 years ago, she has to keep up the yard.  He chose it for security, being close to town, but I don't think he realized how much the yard would weigh on her mind, since the HOA doesn't take care of it, as it would if she were in a townhouse or condo.  But he would have hated living in a place like that, where he couldn't tinker with his car or his yard...

    He set up their finances enough for her to be able to afford regular yard care and home maintenance, but he was so handy, she's been spoiled.  Hates paying the plumber or electrician or a/c guys.  I made her get a new a/c - heat pump and we replaced the developer crap windows with Sears Weather Beaters.  She stays warmer in the winter now and her electricity bills have gone down a LOT.  I trim the hedges myself whenever I'm there, to save her the odd trim bill when I can, but then I spend 3 days sneaking Aleve so she doesn't know I always throw my back out when I do it - she has a LOT of hedges all around the house and I'm short, so it's hard to reach all the spots, even with my 24" trimmer.  

    So I spend all my Christmas spirit at her house and don't decorate my own house at all.  I used to love decorating when my son lived at home.  Putting up our tree, hanging lights - we had a music box, but we didn't go all Christmas Vacation or Deck the Halls crazy - I live in a townhouse, so a few twinkie lights, the music box and the odd inflatable or yard decoration was enough.  Inside every room had something - dining room tablecloth, buffet runner, candlesticks, centerpieces.  Little tree in his room.  Themed wreaths, staircase garlands, stockings, and those silly Hallmark singing snowmen and penguins in every room - I have them all and I still get the new one each year for the "someday" when I get to decorate my own house again... they're goofy and silly and they make me smile, especially when one of the kids sets them all off at once, to remind me that the fun part of Christmas is for kids.  

    In the meantime, I try not to be too Scroogy, and try not to fuss at my mom for being the same stubborn red head my dad married 66 years ago this Christmas.  Because I know someday she won't be there for me to worry about and the price of being able to enjoy decorating my own house again will be that she's not around to fuss at anymore.  

    "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

    by Ricochet67 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:33:38 AM PST

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      So sorry for your loss, Richochet67. Your mom is lucky to have you.

      Wish you could stop by and help me with my decorations when you are finished. I might decorate more outside if I was able to do it. I'm short too and if I can't reach it, I'm not doing it. I am not getting on a ladder to put up lights.

      Your last paragraph really says it all. You will be so glad you continued to help her as much as you could. Sounds like you are doing a lot and it's so far away. I hope you can talk her into moving.

      Wondering if you contacted the landscaper, or by the time you heard it was probably too late. Rocks are usually pretty cheap. Even $300 worth would be an awful lot of rocks. Its horrible how our elderly are treated. My dad was taken advantage of in his last years. Maybe you could get her to run any expenses over a certain amount by you, just to verify the cost and that she's not being taken advantage of.

      Your dad probably didn't think about the yard weighing on her mind because he thought she would pay to have it taken care of. Sounds like he did the best he could by her, which was a lot.

      I wonder if you just hired someone for yard work for her, (with her paying) if she would accept it after it was a done deal. Easy for me to make suggestions. I'm sure you have tried various ways.

      Your decorations sound so nice. Maybe you might put out a few simple things like your Christmas table cloth and wreaths. Put a couple things out and see if you begin to feel like doing more. :) If not, that's fine too.

      Sorry the season is hard for you. It is a big "club," that's for sure. I grin and bear it mostly. I hate a commercial Christmas and all that it means and involves, I'm not religious, and I don't have family, so it's a strange time for me.

      Best wishes to you.

      •  She's just stubborn (0+ / 0-)

        I did hire a lawn guy - we have a lawn mowing guy and a guy that does the hedge trimming, gardening, weeding, light tree trimming.  

        And she normally DOES run all her oddball expenses by me, but the regular guy that did her first set of rocks in the front flower bed went out of town for two months.  

        She couldn't wait for him to get back - we had deliberately spread out the work over several months so that she could go with him to Home Depot and get 20 bags of rocks (total cost about $75) and she paid him $50 to put them down.  

        We did that twice, so the whole front was done and he was going to do one side before Christmas and the other side after New Year's.  

        The person she hired is not even allowed on the property, but they snuck in the back gate to do tree trimming for a neighbor and for some stupid reason, she wandered over there to ask him if he would do rocks for her.  

        She knew it was stupid when they asked for payment up front and told her that they would order the rocks from a rock company and have them delivered, but it would be $350 / yard.  The bank called her to see if she had really written the check because they drove right over there to cash it, 10 minutes after she wrote it.  That made her suspicious (but did she tell the bank NO, don't cash it?) No, she didn't).  But she called the rock company and found out the rocks she wanted were $80 / yard.  So she called the idiot, left him messages on his cell phone to cancel the job, but they never called her back and when she came back from the grocery store 2 days later, there were 2 guys dumping rocks in the garden (2 guys she didn't know, but said they were laborers for the idiot).  They wouldn't take the rocks back and they wouldn't call their "boss."  She kept trying to call and he wouldn't answer.  

        The other neighbors came out and were demanding that the people leave, because they recognized the truck and knew they were on the "do not allow" list by the HOA - no insurance, no license.  

        They dumped the rocks where they were supposed to and left.  

        She didn't tell me about it until I was there this weekend (it happened last month), because she knew I would flip out.  She just "hates" having to pay for the yard work because when Daddy was alive it was "free."  She hates seeing weeds.  She hates it when winter comes and the grass turns brown - that's nothing new, it's ALWAYS done that - in the 30 years they've LIVED in Ocala, it's always done that, no matter what house they were in.  My dad enjoyed the break of not having to mow in the winter.  

        I told her she's got to stop obsessing about the yard.  As long as it's mowed, the HOA isn't going to give her a ticket.  And I told her if she does anything like that again, I'm taking the check book away and I'll have all her bills sent to me to handle.  She's not incompetent - she balances her checkbook and pays all her bills on time, she keeps track of everything on her credit card and matches the receipts with the statement.  She's just got this bee in her bonnet about the stupid yard.  I know Jared (her regular gardening guy) is going to have a fit when he gets back and finds out how she got all those rocks.  HE doesn't rip her off.  He'll probably be mad at himself for taking the 2 months off to go hunting and visiting relatives in Texas, because he knows she's OCD about the yard and just can't wait for things to happen on a schedule...

        I'm kind of mad at the one neighbor that "recommended" the idiot - he's like - hey you got your rocks (this guy is a snowbird and has no idea about the vendors - he wanted his tree trimmed and got it for "only" $2,000 - I work on my HOA's board, he got ripped off, too - should have been $400 MAX for that tree trim - but he doesn't care, because he's got a pension and IRA and investment income, just goes out to play golf all day - my mom lives on her SSA and the IRA my dad left - which, if she manages wisely, will last her until she's 100 years old - the first 5 years have been OK, but I'm starting to worry if things like this keep happening, I am going to have to take it away from her, which won't make either of us very happy).  

        Thank you for your kind words - this time of year is really hard for so many people - not just financially, but emotionally, too.  I really miss being able to stay home and have Christmas with my nieces and nephews - little kids are so much fun to be around.  My son is grown and lives in Canada - no grandkids yet - maybe that's a good thing or I'd REALLY be depressed having to miss THEIR Christmas.  

        "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

        by Ricochet67 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 02:10:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ricochet67, (0+ / 0-)

          sorry to be so late stopping back by.

          Sounds like the rock guy was determined to do the job and determined to rip her off. It might be worth calling your state attorney general. They watch and prosecute people like that, especially those who prey on the elderly.

          Your mom sounds like when she wants something done, she wants it now. :) I am a little the same way.

          You are doing all you can do. I suspected as much even when I made a couple of suggestions.

          Yes, emotionally hard to me seems even worse than financially hard, but the financially hurting would probably disagree. It's just a hard season all around. It's so hard to escape it too, since it's everywhere! It's hard to try to relieve the stress and pressure and say "I'm not buying gifts this year." Family and friends often just don't understand.

          Take care, Richochet67. Good luck with everything and best wishes.

  •  Wow--that's a beautiful wreath! I always hang (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda

    several wreaths indoors, and most years I swap out some of the decorations on them if I want a different theme.  My husband and I aren't religious people, but we do love Christmas and usually go overboard on the decorations.  This year we're reeling in the massive gift-giving, though, and donating equally to St. Jude's Childrens' Hospital and the Humane Society.  Happy decorating to all--we deserve some cheer and joy in our lives!

    •  Cheer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cactusgal

      Cheer and Joy! I'm for that! :) Thank you, cactusgal.

      Giving to charities is really the way to go. It is sure more in keeping with what Christmas should be all about. I have done that in years past. This year I'm not doing much of anything. Decorating the porch may be my only nod to Christmas. :)

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