Thursday, October 19, 2006

Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Outdoor Christmas decorations
I moved into a new neighborhood last summer, thinking it looked like a normal place to live. My neighbors all seemed nice and normal, there wasn't anything too strange about them. The day after Thanksgiving, I changed my opinion. When I left for work that morning, all was well in my neighborhood. When I returned home in the early evening, my jaw dropped. I thought that perhaps I was on the wrong road. Apparently, my neighbors try to outdo each other with their outdoor Christmas decorations. The house directly across from me, as well as on both sides of my house, had outdoor Christmas decorations covering their front lawns and homes. I'm not just talking about ordinary outdoor Christmas decorations that people oohh and ahh over, I'm talking about the most tacky decorations you can imagine.
Most of the outdoor Christmas decorations that were scattered all over the lawns were the kind that lit up. Since it was early evening and the sun was already setting, they were all lit up in their bright glory. I pulled into my driveway and just stared. I was absolutely appalled and embarrassed. I wanted to pack up my things and move right back to my old neighborhood. Directly across from me was a giant lit Santa. He must have been at least 6 feet tall and by far, the most ridiculous of all of the outdoor Christmas decorations on my block. He was swaying slightly in the breeze, making him appear as if he was waving at me. I couldn't get over the fact that all of my neighbors had managed to get all of their outdoor Christmas decorations set up in only a few hours. Apparently, I had not received the neighborhood decorating schedule.
To me, outdoor Christmas decorations are supposed to be simple and elegant. They shouldn't stick out like a sore thumb and make people gawk when they drive by. I've always loved putting lights on my front porch and bushes, maybe the decorative white reindeer as well. There are some outdoor Christmas decorations that simply should be outlawed. If you wonder what outdoor Christmas decorations I am referring to, drive through my neighborhood. There is no need for giant Santas and hideous candy canes hanging from trees.
My husband was just as shocked as I was. We laughed about it that night after dinner. We decided that the next day, we would put our outdoor Christmas decorations out and hopefully our neighbors will learn some things from the simplicity of ours. We aren't the type to go overboard. That night, there was an annoying glow that shone in our bedroom window from the lighted outdoor Christmas decorations of our neighbors. I fell asleep thinking wishing there would be a power outage on my street.

Toys For Christmas

We are entering my favorite time of the year. I love holiday time. I enjoy decorating and baking my family’s favorite holiday recipes and also shopping for special gifts for everyone on my list. Now that our family is expanding to include grandchildren this is even a more magical time of the year for us.
When our own children were toddlers we did not have a great deal of money to spend on toys for Christmas. I tried to get something special for everyone, but we also needed to include practical items as gifts. This meant that stocking stuffers usually included socks and underwear instead of luxury items. We also bought other clothing items for the children. Most of the toys for Christmas that our children received were from their grandparents. This worked out well because it gave the children something to do during the holiday time that was spent at the grandparent’s houses.
Now that we are the grandparents and have more financial resources we are the ones that get to shop for and provide the toys for Christmas. I have to admit that the toys have changed greatly since our children were young. Everything is either electronic or battery operated. This year when my husband and I went to find gifts for our children and their families we decided that we wanted to give them more than material things, we wanted to give them a means to spend family time together. Instead of buying toys for Christmas for the youngsters and clothing or other items for the adults we decided to make family gift baskets. Our three children were very close when they were growing up, but jobs, children and community activities have made it difficult for them to spend much time together as adults. Their children enjoy playing together when we get together at holiday time. We decided that it would be fun to have a full family time together as a water park. We booked reservations for all or us and had the water park send us confirmations for each family. We also bought a board game for each family as well as a card game. We placed the reservation confirmation, the games and microwave popcorn in a big basket. We also put in a gift certificate for a chain delivery pizza place.
On Christmas the children were very excited about having the full weekend together planned for them at the end of January. We told them that we were also coming along so that we could baby sit in the evening so the three couples could go out for dinner together. This was a great idea and received very well. I do not think any one missed not getting toys for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Baby Chick Duck :) SOOO CUTE !!

Not sure what is more cute and baby Chicks or baby bunnies ????

Angel Christmas Decorations

Angels are a big part of my home decor all year round. I have various statuettes, figurines, posters, prints, and knickknacks featuring these heavenly beings in nearly every room of my house. Because of this, you probably think that I'm all set once the holidays come around since angels figure very prominently in yuletide decorating schemes. But that's not the case at all. In fact, angel Christmas decorations are much different from the items that I usually have in my home, so I go shopping each year to purchase those special pieces.
This may sound strange, but I have a set routine when it comes to buying angel Christmas decorations. First of all, I never use the same ornaments year after year. Instead, after I've had a particular angel Christmas decoration up in my house for one holiday season, I give it away to a friend or relative so that they can enjoy the beautiful ornament for themselves. This system has been working out nicely for everyone involved and is a good way to ensure that my home has a different look for the holidays each year.
The second part of my routine consists of only buying angel Christmas decorations that fit a particular theme. As you might imagine, you can buy an angel Christmas decoration in almost any size, style, color, or material these days. I don't want my holiday decorating scheme to have a haphazard look to it, so I make sure my angel Christmas decorations have a consistent look to them despite the fact that they're all different pieces.
The third, and best, part of my routine consists of buying one very special angel Christmas decoration that will either go on top of the tree or occupy another prominent place in my home. This will be the featured ornament that all of my guests immediately look for and notice when they visit me during the holidays.
Because I go through so many angel Christmas decorations, I am always looking for new outlets to purchase from. All the craft, home decor, and knickknack shops in my area know me very well and the proprietors know about my affinity for angels. But as hard as they try, they can't always get new angel Christmas decorations in stock. So now I usually end up purchasing my angel Christmas decorations online. I don't mind having to do that because I definitely have a wider selection to choose from. As long as the angel Christmas decoration that I ordered doesn't get damaged in shipping, I'm ok with purchasing from online merchants.
If you want to add angel Christmas decorations to your holiday display this year, why not check some out right now? Hopefully you'll be as impressed with the selection, quality, and prices as I am!