Tuesday, December 4, 2007

trimming the house

I had a big discussion with Little Brother this weekend on what the phrase "trimming the tree" means. He couldn't figure out why you had to trim it, and what if it's a fake tree, and do you need a saw, etc. etc. etc. We've had these sort of talks before; any kind of idiom just goes right over his head, and no amount of explaining will convince him that it doesn't mean just what it says it means. Sometimes living with Amelia Bedelia can be tiring, but for now just using the title "trimming the house" is kind of making me laugh.

Anyway, this weekend was also spent, um, decorating the house. We don't have our tree yet, that will be this coming weekend, but most things are up. We'll probably be making and adding more paper snowflakes until February, though. I love these patterns. I also love that so many of our decorations are handmade. My favorite is this wreath, made by my mom:

It hung in the house every year when I was a kid, along with its matching tree skirt (well, the tree skirt didn't hang, but you know what I mean), and then my mom let me take them when I moved out. Maybe I'll let one of the kids take them when that time comes, or maybe I'll be more selfish. :)

Not quite as nice, because I'm not particularly good at sewing, are our stockings:

I made these last year, because the stockings we used to have were . . . how can I say this nicely . . . blindingly ugly. Hmmm, that wasn't all that nicely, was it? Well, they were crocheted (by a lady my mother-in-law knew who sold them, not by any family members) in plasticky acrylic with a big scary Santa head on them, and half the time she'd misspell the name at the top. Even my poor sewing is better. Someday I'll knit nice ones.

Lastly, speaking of plasticky acrylic:

I cleared such rubbish out of my stash a few months ago (liberating!) but I saved these partial skeins of red and green, to finger-knit garland. It's a fun watching-a-Christmas-movie project, all festive and requiring no attention. I still can't really knit without looking, except for this. The skinny red one will go on the tree, and the fatter red-and-green will probably go outside.

On Saturday J and the kids will go get the tree - for some reason it has always been a manly manly tradition around here that the manly man will bring his brood to go snare a Christmas tree, 'rassling it to the ground, probably, and bring it home to his little wife. I don't really question it, and frankly the hour or so of quiet is nice. Our other Christmas-tree tradition is, after the holiday is over, to cut the branches off and save the trunk. Then that's the first wood we burn on our campfire in August. I used to enjoy taking pictures of the kids standing next to the naked trunk, instructing them to make a really sad face. No, really, they thought it was funny, but I guess there's only so many years in a row you can tell the same joke, you know?

Hmmm, we're sounding a little weird about now.