Let it Snow, Let it Glow, Tie a Bow

We all set out to “keep it simple” whatever it is. It’s a nice thought. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. When anything starts to take more time, become too complex, and begins to cramp your style usually it gets to the point of tossing the thing, or throwing a fit because we didn’t know when to stop.

Frustration. We have enough of this in an average work day. This time of year can get the best of even the calmest person. It seems there’s always more things to do, places to go, shopping with madness, people to visit, parties to attend, must see performances and more, more and more. Boy, oh boy. Never mind our dear Mother Nature casting her magic wand of seasonal mayhem and always at the most inopportune times. But it is winter and we are in New England with a reminder to one and all that, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute. It’s bound to change.” We will get through this. We always do.

Lugging Christmas decorations out of storage is always met with surprise. We never really have a sense of how much stuff we actually have put away until the boxes start coming out of hiding. Every year it’s a question about how much stuff should we keep or give up and how much do we really need to have a merry holiday?

Slowly over the weeks our decorating began. After emptying four or five boxes, more large boxes remain unopened. I know what’s in them. We have perhaps 12 or 13 nativity sets of all different sizes. I love all of them but this season I have only put up five. Then there is the village that has become a small town with the amount of homes and different businesses, churches, town buildings and such. Along with the people, animals, fences, street lights, and everything else that you’d find in a town, I think maybe a faux blizzard has kept most of it still wrapped up. Alas, there are no plow trucks with this set. (I’m not feeling guilty).

I would like to share a few simple things we do that make a big deal out of a little effort.

#1. We put candle lights in the windows and drape some strands here and there in the downstairs area. It has helped to do a little bit every day. But the thing that lasts not only now but all year is what we call “happy lights”. A strand of white lights stays up in several selected spots to provide a calm visual moment from a hectic day when you walk in the door.

We celebrated Christmas in a small way during the recent, “one for the books” no power Thanksgiving. This was before any thought was made to visit the attic for the seasons treasures. Daughter #1 was home on leave before heading to Luke AF Base in Phoenix, Arizona. We did a planned Yankee Swap or Secret Santa thing with stocking gifts. But before she arrived here’s how I made it somewhat Christmassy per her request.

#2. I took a roll of wrapping paper and taped it to the bedroom door. I cut a different print of paper and made it look like ribbon wrapped around a present and I also added some real ribbon. It was something done at the last minute and came out great. I added a huge gift tag to her on the present (or door) which I made out of construction (or printer) paper. You could use this idea and wrap more doors. Those could be a way to decorate throughout the house by keeping it simple. In a pinch you can always take down the paper to use for those extra presents.

#3. There’s something neat about making those big snowflakes out of whatever paper you have. Computer printer paper always works. Anything else can be used like newspaper, recycled paper, construction paper, etc. It should be a square, and then folded to a triangle several times. Add random snips with scissors and voila! Each one is like a real snowflake as no two are alike. Six adorn one of our doors that needed something fun for the season. But it didn’t look complete until a collection of large round circles were added to simulate snow. Random, star-like shapes were cut out of the paper remnants, and taped here and there. It made it a better snow door. Anyone can do this. It’s a real simple no brainer.

Enjoy the version of whatever makes the season a joyful, holly jolly one. May things be merry and bright. And as always, may there be peace on Earth.