Friday, December 7

Maybe Someday I'll Let Her Help Take Down Santa

I was going to show y'all the cutest t-shirt EVAH but somebody got hungry while she was at school and thought she'd munch on an orange marker. She, uh, missed her mouth a few times (or something), so we'll have to save that until after Daddy washes it.

Anyhoo, before I picked up the kiddo, I was sitting at work getting drilled about my Christmas obsessions. It only took a few days for word to get out that I have a bit of a problem. I thought they figured it out because of the sparkly Christmas tree that I put up in my office, but actually it turned out to be because someone has seen our house. We live a whopping 2.8 miles from my new office (for those of you who are curious, the new job ROCKS! (so far)) and very near a neighborhood grocery store. You can see the Christmas sparklies from the grocery store parking lot, which I mentioned to someone. Another someone was picking up some bread and milk, figured they would wander across the street, and saw the sparklies for themselves.

I was horrified. We are a solid day away from finishing up the Christmas magic, so I was all sorts of embarrassed that anyone would be judging my skills based on so little actually being done. Apparently, my idea of "hardly any lights are up yet" is someone else's idea of "holy smokes, look at all those lights." And so the conversation went. At one point, someone asked me when this whole thing started. Were my parents crazy, too? Or, is this a new disease?

I didn't get it from my parents. My Dad enjoyed decorating outdoors when I was a kid, but I found the practice to be absolutely ridiculous given the whole -20 degrees in the dead of winter in North Dakota thing. In fact, I went out of my way to sabotage his decorating. When I was 10, my Dad sent me onto the roof (in January, people, in North Dakota) to help take down the four foot tall plastic Santa that was residing up there. I hated that Santa. I hated how tacky he looked. I hated the stupid tire that was used to weigh him down and keep him from blowing away. Mostly, I hated the stupid grin on his face. So I did what any self respecting 10-year old would do--I threw him off the roof. Guess what happens to cheap plastic when it's frozen to -20 degrees then thrown to the ground, one story below? Ka-blooey! (Shhh . . . don't tell my Dad. He still thinks it was an accidental death rather than a homicide.)

I think the disease first began to creep into my being when I lived in Spain. I spent my 17th Christmas there, immersed in a culture that does a much better job of remembering the true meaning of the season. I don't think it matters whether or not a person believes in the religious origins, you will have no choice but to be amazed by the parades, belens (incredibly detailed and often life-sized nativity scenes), foods, and celebrations. In my mind, there was just one thing missing--snow. It was a rough life I led at the time; I was on the Mediterranean coast suffering through 60 degree weather. I compensated for the lack of snow by cutting out dozens of paper snowflakes and hanging them from my bedroom ceiling (photos exist, but I couldn't tell you where they are). That was the first time I ever decorated for Christmas on my own accord.

I kept up my spiriting ways in college. I was the kid that had a tree in their dorm room, lights hanging from the ceiling, and made sure there were pretties in the hall. The Christmas that I spent working at Walt Disney World came complete with roommates that were a little crazy, too. We had an Itty-Bitty Christmas (you have to read that using the voice of Genie from Aladdin when he talks about the big, powerful genie and itty-bitty lamp). The three of us went to Target and bought the smallest trees we could find, decorated them all fancy, and set them in our living room window sill. Then we drug the whole complex into our apartment to see our Itty-Bitty Christmas. We were the only ones out of the 900+ college students there that had Christmas decorations in our apartment, and we made sure everybody knew it as we forced them to sing Christmas carols in our living room and pay homage to the Itty-Bitty display. (Why yes, we were awesome. Still are, if you ask me.)

Eventually I moved into an apartment of my very own and my boyfriend at the time was forced to come along for the ride. Ten years later, he's begrudgingly become my official light tester and roof decorator. But this year he's doing it with a smile because I have a new accomplice in my evil plans:

(Hey look--It's a rare Coal Kitty sighting!)


  1. Awww, she is cute. No wonder someone is doing all the decorating with a smile these days!

  2. Before anybody asks, pictures are coming. Just hold your horses until I'm done. (That's a fun saying--"Hold your horses"--I might have to start using it!)

  3. I'd rather not hold my horses. It's freezing out there! We have a stable and they're well confined.

    You crack me up! With all my decorating nonsense, I'm so left eating your dust. I'd be the "how many lights do you need" crowd.

    And I can't help but think that your dad must surely have been Mr. Griswald with that Santa on his roof.

  4. Oh, and I LOVE your blog decorations. The shiny balls are fab. ;)

  5. The Itty-Bitty Christmas thing cracked me up. Now I can't stop saying it in that voice. Love the shirt. Wonder if a certain someone could be bribed into making another?

    My computer is not a great one and at first I couldn't even SEE coal kitty.

    Alexis is probably going to rebel against the decorations when she's a little older, but she'll come around, just as you did. It's in her genes!!

  6. I'm calling homicide to take you in! I would've done the same thing, that sounded tacky. If my mom's ridiculous pumpkin thingy she put out every Halloween was on the roof, I would've "off"ed it.
    P.S. Before posting the pictures, could you tell me the name of those darn jeans?!

  7. Oh, and I'm with Jen. I'm dying to know what those jeans are too!

  8. Oh man! A suicidal Santa?? That doesn't seem very holiday spirit-y....but then again, you were ten and on a roof. Better Santa then you so I say good work! I love that picture of Alexis...she is super photogenic. You have had so many different experiences....Spain, Disney....I must seem like a boring bump on a log. Anyway, can't wait to see pictures...oh and the orange marker should have would have made me feel better about my own marker hungry child!

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  10. Every year the entire family piles into the van and we drive around looking at lights. Over the years we have come up with one word that would clearly describe your home, overboard. Even the two year old can say it.

    I'm still looking forward to the pictures!

  11. Karen--You're such a smartass. I dig it. And yes, my Dad was the true Mr. Griswald. He didn't put up a lot of stuff, but what was up never matched, was placed in random places, and there was a whole lot of duct tape involved. Thank goodness very few of my friends knew where I lived (we were out in the country, so I ventured into town to see them).

    I like my balls, too! I tried big balls, but they didn't look quite right. ;-)

    Madame Queen--I know for a fact that the smartass would happily make a special shirt just for you Punkin. She really does a fantastic job. The shirts are about a gazillion times cuter in person than they are in photos, if you can believe it.

    Coal is elusive like that. He can be in the room for hours and you'll never know it.

    Jen--Done! I hope they work for you, too. It might be worth trying on the "new" boot cut style as well. They RAWK!

    Pam--Spain was just a means of leaving North Dakota earlier. I graduated from high school a year early to go, and there was no way I would've been able to do that if I hadn't been going to Spain. It was my Prison Break, if you will.

    Everybody's path through life is interesting. Some of us just tread farther out of the lines than others. (Are you ready for the game yet? GO STEELERS!)

    Kidzmama--You might be surprised. My OCD comes into play with the lights and makes for a very organized, neat display. I'll have to take some pictures of some of the local 'overboard' displays for your viewing pleasure.

  12. We're still waiting for the pictures. You done yet?

    And thanks so much for the great shout-out for the store. If/when I get that Niles-ette done, I'll make you a deal on her.

  13. Rain, rain, go away come back AFTER FREAKIN' CHRISTMAS!

    I'm taking pictures of the trees inside tonight and outside on Saturday. It may just have to be a scaled down version of my usual fabulousness because this weather is not conducive to ladders and electricity.

    Woohoo on the Niles-ette! I looked at the other ones and was all "darn it, I want that one, too." But it is a bit too boyish for my easily-irritated-when-people-call-her-a-boy husband.