Saturday, November 25, 2006

Making Memories.

I know that I posted yesterday that I don't like crowds and it could have been misconstrued that I was bitching about the holidays and the Christmas music that's playing already. While the crowd thing really does bother me, the holidays and the music do not. I love Christmas. I love the music. I love everything about this holiday. (It's funny that the things I love most about Christmas aren't the things that I Jesus and stuff. I like the decorations and the food and the silly songs like "Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer"...stuff like that.)

Yesterday, when I was preparing to leave work, I decided that it might be fun to have my Aunts and Uncles over for cocktails. My Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Ken live in Kentucky and they haven't seen our house since last Christmas...we've done a LOT. Painting, new furniture, etc. I called Jamie and warned him that we would be having guests and then I made some phone calls. I called Aunt Nini and Uncle Tom and left a message for Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Ken. It turned out that only Aunt Nini and Uncle Tom came over but we had a wonderful time regardless.

Moving on...

I told Jamie that I would be running to the store and that he should work on straightening up the basement (we have a bar in the basement...but we haven't entertained in a very long needed some tidying-up.) I ran over to the liquor store and to Rite Aid to buy some booze and chips and stuff. Then I went home and started Martha Stewart-izing the house. Jamie was busy in the basement so it was the perfect time for me to make the house all Christmasy.

Last year, when putting the decorations away, I decided that it would be simpler not to dismantle the Christmas trees. I made sure all the ornaments were secured to the branches and we took the trees upstairs to the attic. It turned out to be a good idea. In less than 15 minutes, I had "put up" two trees, strung garland over the piano and buffet, and threw a few holiday pillows on the sofa. Voila! Christmas!

(Note on the trees: I LOVE to decorate Christmas trees. I love it. I have spent more money on tree decorations than I care to remember. We have a 5 foot "slim" tree in our living room that I have decorated with white, green and red lights...but not just any lights. The red and green lights are special because each bulb is 1/2 red and 1/2 green. I also bought larger, crystal-like red and white lights. There is also a string of just red lights. It looks lovely. There are over 100 ornaments on it (in the white, green, red theme) and a silvery ribbon for garland. It took me a few hours to decorate it last year and it looked perfect. That's the reason I didn't disassemble it. The other tree is a smaller 3-4 foot tree that I bought at Sears about 5 years ago. It is one of those pre-lit trees (with white lights already strung into the branches.) It has seen many holidays and many different locations. I had originally purchased it when we lived in West Seneca. Then I set it up for my Mother when she was living in Pittsburgh. Now it's in our dining room in Hamburg. It looks brand new still... It has about 250 ornaments on it...honest to God. I strung blue lights in addition to the white lights. It is decorated with multi-sized ornaments and bells...all blue, light blue, and silver...with a few white bulbs for good measure. It's finished with silver beaded garland and an blue, antique glass topper. I love it. This is why I didn't want to take off the decorations...they already look perfect. OK, enough of this.)

With the trees set in place, the garland hung and lit, and some Yankee Candles (Christmas scents) burning...all we really needed to do was put some snacks in bowls. But, you see...I was in my Martha Stewart mode, I didn't want to use just any bowls...I wanted to use my "fancy" bowls. OK...detour time again:

(Note on "fancy" dishes: We painted our house (the living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom so far) in "historic" colors. Noble Cranberry for the living room, Christmas Cactus for the dining room, Dark Celery for the kitchen, and we're finishing the Rusty Pumpkin in the bathroom. I like the colors and I like their timelessness (is that a word?). The dining room is decorated with Duncan Phyfe furniture. I like antique things. We have a curio cabinet and a china cabinet...I wanted them to have green glass. I purchased an emerald green glass collection at a garage sale for $20...they're in the curio cabinet. I purchased a much larger olive green glass collection at an antique store for $100...they're in the china cabinet. Some of the individual pieces exceed $100 - I got a phenomenal deal. I have some depression glass, some vaseline glass (look it up), some carnival glass. It is a nice glass collection and I haven't really had a chance to use it yet. Until last night...)

Back to my story... I bought some Christmas M&Ms, some pretzels, some Chex mix, and peanuts. Then (yes, this is how bizarre I really am) I made devilled eggs and asked Jamie to cut up some cheese and pepperoni. We put all of these things in my "fancy" dishes (I even have a green glass devilled egg plate) and arranged them just so on the dining room table. Everything looked beautiful! We had the fireplace going, the trees lit, the house was sparkling clean, the dogs were behaving...I even had Christmas music playing in surround sound! Jamie and I got changed and waited for Aunt Nini and Uncle Tom to come.

They came in and thought everything looked beautiful. They were amazed at the difference. We told them that it's amazing what a little paint and elbow grease can actually accomplish. (It really does look nice...I'm very proud of us.) Then we enjoyed a wonderful evening at our bar. Telling stories, laughing, making memories.

That's what the holidays mean to me. Making memories. It didn't take too much work, it didn't cost too much money, it was a last minute get-together. But we sat down, had a few cocktails, told a few stories and made memories. Nothing fancy.

We often tell our family members "oh, we have to get together over the holidays"...then we get "too busy" and we "forget". Well...just as paint and elbow grease can transform a room, snacks and conversation can really make memories. Sappy or not...I really mean it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should send in a picture to Better Homes and Gardens! The house looks absolutely beautiful!

Love you- K