Monday, December 10, 2018

Looking like Christmas ~ my column from Sunday's paper

Christmas time starts off slowly. We don’t even acknowledge the holiday until the Thanksgiving turkey has digested and we’ve eaten the leftover dressing in creative ways. You haven’t had dressing until you’ve had it pressed and toasted in a waffle iron. But this past weekend, I fetched a half dozen plastic storage containers from the storage shed and each day something new appears on the mantle or in my bathroom. It’s beginning to look like Christmas here.

Christmas lights around here are blooming like flowers. Each time we drive home after dark, we see another home with lights strung around the eves and in the yard. For years my mom was the queen of Christmas yard-art. The family always spent Thanksgiving afternoon propping up plywood snowmen, sleighs with a fat Santa and his reindeer. She kept her Christmas lights in garbage bags. I know that the Good Book said that Job had patience but untangling mama’s Christmas lights would have made him cuss like a sailor.

Jilda always helped her mom Ruby decorate at her home. Ruby didn’t scrimp on Christmas decorations in her house. She had two Santa figures that stood about 18 inches tall. Those Santa figurines looked so real I half expected to hear their reindeer snort as the fat guy dragged his sack down the chimney. They were the first things you saw at Christmas when you walked into her living room.

Before Ruby died, she gave Jilda those Santas. Now they spend the Christmas holidays on our mantle.

Through the years, our friends have given us other Christmas items. Our friends Wes and Deidra gave me a fly-fishing Santa complete with a fly rod and a trout basket. Keith and Roberta Watson (no relation) gave us a small Christmas country church scene.  When Jilda worked at Wallace State College in the 1980s, her friend Beverly gave her Christmas bears.

On our coffee table is a tiny Nativity scene that Sharkey and Ruby bought us shortly after Jilda and I married. It looks as if it were carved from ivory. Once we did babysit duty for my nephew James and his wife Andrea while they attended a Christmas party. While the kids were there, Stone was fascinated with the Nativity scene. There was a small accident with the coffee table. Sheep, camels, and donkeys were scattered all around the great room. “Baby Jesus, come back," Stone pleaded as he peered under the couch. Jilda fetched a wooden pasta spoon with which we were able to reach the sleeping infant and pull it back to the safety of the Nativity scene. I laughed hard that I almost had a hygiene issue.

This weekend we’ll go to the Christmas Tree Farm where we go each year and pick out a tree that we can plant after the new year.

While she decorates (I’m not allowed to handle some of the “special ornaments”) I’ll put up the exterior decorates which include a Christmas Pig, Christmas Chicken, three small trees, and a bicycle.

Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.



  1. If my baby Jesus rolled under the couch, anyone who watched me hunker down to retrieve it would bust out laughing, but not have a hygiene accident. At least I don't think they would, but who knows.

  2. Around here the blow up decor has hit many homes..some go completely nuts. I may have to blog about it if I ever get my act together this week! We have a few fishing Santas too! Hope that nasty weather hasn't hit your area. Take care and be safe if it has!

  3. It is not looking like Christmas here. Yet. I have been baking though, so it is starting to smell like Christmas.

  4. That fishing Santa looks just like you.
    Hugs, Julia

  5. I start decorating the day after Thanksgiving. After all Santa came in Macy's Parade. I finally finish just about the time to take it all down again. Ha ! How nice you have some special decorations to remind you of family. Christmas memories are a wonderful thing.

  6. I love Christmas it is my favourite time of year but I don't decorate outside the house, I do like driving around looking at Christmas lights though

  7. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Merry Christmas to you & yours!!


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