Monday, December 10, 2007

And the award for Most Ornaments Per Square Tree Inch goes to.......

....the Baker's Dozen Family!!! We are just so stinkin' proud of ourselves.

Actually, I'm trying to focus on all that's good about our tree this year, because once again (for like, 26 years running....), our lights Do Not Twinkle. I guess that's just too much to ask in this day and age. I mean, we can take photos on our itsy-bitsy phones and send them half-way around the world, but we can't get a set of plug in lights to do a synchronized blink!!!! Last year we almost had twinkling lights. Half of the lights twinkled, ....the lower half only, which was pretty much worse than no twinkles at all. The year before that they didn't twinkle...but they did do this "disco ball", 70's light show thing. Not only did that make me dizzy, but every time I looked at them I heard the lyrics to"Dancing Queen". My husband thought I was being "picky" since "at least they're moving". Oh...and by the way, I'm not talking about the same set of lights that I take out of the attic every year and naively think,"Maybe this will be the year they'll twinkle." Nope. I'm a realistic, yet hopeful kind of girl. We buy new lights pretty much every year. New lights, with lies like this written on the box;

"Twinkle mini lights have a random twinkling/blinking pattern creating a festive atmosphere for your next holiday event."

Bogus. Twinkly-lights scam artists is what they are.

OK, I think I have it out of my system now that I've blogged it for the whole (five of you) world to see, and I can be a big girl and get past this little glitch in my holiday plans (you'd think I'd be used to it after more than Two Decades of dormant, unmoving, motion-LESS lights!)

Here is a picture of our 2007 Very Nice Yet Twinkleless Tree.

I'm actually quite pleased with the tree itself. This was the year my very practical, frugal husband finally decided I could have my way and buy a pre-lit, non-authentic tree (artificial is such a harsh word, don't you think?) But when my debit card and I got down to Target to buy one... they looked a lot less "genuine" than they did in the ads. And they are expensive! So, I figured I could survive one more year with a Charlie Brown tree from the "cut your own" tree lot - so like a good little martyr, I sent my husband off to fork over a couple of bucks to pay to chop something down to drag into our family room. But to my delight, he brought home a really great, symmetrical, non-needle dropping tree. It's perfect really. In fact, this is the first year that I'm almost disappointed that we have so many ornaments that you can't really tell that the tree has any branches at all! And just for the Official Bloggy Record....My husband was right (again).

The thing about a Large Family Christmas Tree is that over the years it does tend to get "congested" (like traffic - or...the upstairs bathroom). And each year I really do make a concerted effort to purge a few ornaments. But gone are the days when our tree was decorated with Currier and Ives matching glass balls and beautiful bows. Those were replaced years ago when we started collecting children :). Each ornament has some special meaning now and becomes a non-purgable keepsake. Here are a few samples of what I mean - (and be duly warned all honestly, that for some of you ~as in those who are not pictured on one of the ornaments below~ these pictures will be about as entertaining as watching someone else's vacation slide show.)

This is my guitar-playing, almost college graduate, Hunter- circa 1990, on red felt :)You wouldn't know it by the quality of his mother's ornament photographs, but Hunter is a gifted, in-demand (and not just by me!) photographer.

....and my little shepherdess, Betsy (now 23, calling herself Jacqueline and recently married to a brave soldier.) I miss a lot of things about having Betsy/Jacqueline around the house, but her piano playing at Christmas time is in the Top Ten. I also miss the way she speed-cleaned, and cooked gourmet meals, and babysat, and painted walls, and grocery shopped, and chauffered the kids, and..... (sorry, I can't continue with my eyes all teary like this....)

Brite, pictured above in an acrylic snowflake (very tasteful back in the 80's), is now a married homemaker extraordinaire and mother of two incredibly adorable, very advanced children (who happen to call me GRANDMama - and who will be bringing their cute, happy faces here in 11 days!!).

Shepherd, who claims I made him wear overalls way into puberty, is now 25, gainfully employed as a writer, and no longer wears a bowl cut hairstyle. He's my Blog Editor, by default - and is getting his Master's in Political Science. He also takes his younger siblings on "excursions", which makes him deserve a prominent place on the tree.

Mary-Faith, pictured above during my favorite childhood years (somewhere between 8 and longer in need of intensive training, but still young enough to think their moms are as cool as Carrie Underwood.) She is my most photogenic child (in her humble opinion....and mine!)

I'm not as into glue and rick rack as I used to be - so for the past few years, I have purchased a new ornament that represents something that happened during that year. The ballet slippers are to remind us of Molly's first ballet recital, and the musical notes represent our first year with the homeschool band. This year's "memorable event" hasn't actually happened yet, but I bought the ornament last week (if you persevere through this post, you can see it way....below.)

The next two ornaments may give you a clue as to just why we beat out everyone else for the Tacky Most Ornaments Per Square Inch award. There's always someone in the family who can't bear the thought of having our tree go up without these ornaments.
And usually that someone is Me :)

Below are my two favorite brown angels. Can you tell which one is the real one? When I saw this ornament I never even looked at the price tag. It was a must-buy!

Here are my Five Musketeers, and the kids that keep me on my toes - and knees. I have vivid memories of our first, wild Christmas with them 7 years ago. Our family exploded, I mean expanded by 5 the year they joined us. Without them we'd be a boring Baker's "Half-Dozen", I'd be more sane, probably sleep better, have lots more money, a ton less dirt, maybe a few minutes of peace and quiet each day ....and I'd have a big hole in my heart where they were supposed to be.

And here's my cross-stitched memento of where it all began - 26 years ago. Sorry for the blur...I really do need a new camera (hint, hint, honey!)

And last, but not least, gaging by the amount of conversation this event is generating around here (and the constructive home-school work it's preventing)- is my keepsake ornament for the 2007 event that will be taking place 6 days from now (!!!) Can you tell where The World's Best Dad is taking us for four whole fun-filled days?
And in the spirit of WDW, these hanging snow-globe ornaments even light up and turn colors :)

I may or may not post again before I pack for 9 excited people to take off for the Big O(rlando). By the time we get back our married daughters, wonderful sons-in-law, and incredible grandchildren (plus Zulu, our GrandDog) will already be in town and staying in our (hopefully) clean, holiday-ready house. The timing seems weird to be taking a vacation - but I haven't wanted to mention that to my husband since the very fact that we are going to Disney, staying on the property (!), and using pre-paid meal tickets, makes me wonder if he's having a mid-life crisis or something. If he tries to dye his (limited) hair- or rent a convertible while we're down there...I'll be sure to blog about it :)



Persuaded said...

Hello! I so enjoyed reading about your tree... and no it doesn't look too crowded;-)

I think you and I have a fair bit in common- I am a homeschoolin mama, and have adopted some little brown angels of my own. I also am a newbie blogger, and am loving it! I will visit again!

lea said...

i cannot wait to get my daily dose of deb (you will be posting daily won't you?) o.k. i can't wait to get my biweekly batch of the bestest beauty of the brood. it is almost as good as a lunch with you, but not quite. oh, that reminds me that i owe you a lunch, i can't remember why- let's get together in real life soon!

Jacqueline said...

Hi Mom! It's fun to look through all those ornaments, since I didn't get to be there to help put them on this year ... that little shepherdess is ADORABLE.
For some reason, I didn't hear about your blog until you sent me this link today. Fire your publicist!
I am proud to have a blogging mama!

Trisch said...

Loved it, Princess! And I think our tree gets a close second...LOL! Now I know where to find you to catch up on your family! I tell everyone when the Lord quits blessing us with natural children, we're going to start adopting! :)

Merry Christmas if I don't make it back before!

Ruth said...

i found your blog through pleasant view, and am pleased to meet you! i am a youngish homeschooling mom, and a pastor's wife of a reformed's neat to read about your family, as i don't have "older" women in my life who point me to a God-centered, family-centered worldview! Thanks

Davene said...


While my hubby and boys are away at a Christmas Eve celebration, my bun in the oven and I are at home enjoying some peace and quiet...and supposedly, getting some work done! Ha! Who wants to work on Christmas Eve? :)

Anyway, as I finished my supper after my family departed, I sat down to read your blog over my waffles...and what fun it has been! I guess I found you through Pleasant View Schoolhouse, although I don't exactly remember. But I will definitely check back, and I hope you post again soon. I know, I know, with family and Christmas and everything, you probably won't be posting for a while. But don't make us wait too long!!! Your writing is delightful. :)

Blessings to you and your family!