Searching for the Perfect One

Shortly after Thanksgiving, my mother, daddy, sister and I would pile into the car in search of the perfect Christmas tree. It was a really big deal for us kids. We were so excited after  begging to go tree shopping. It never really seems like Christmas until you have the tree and are in the midst of decorating it.

My mother  loved flocked Christmas trees. My dad didn’t much care, I don’t think, just as long as it was fairly even on each side and didn’t have huge holes in them or anything like that. We went to nurseries, Christmas tree lots, Tom Thumb- wherever there might be a tree sale.

My parents also owned two beauty salons and they had to get trees for them as well. I’ll never forget. They bought aluminum trees for the shops. A white one for the Orchid and I believe a silver one for the Pandora. They also bought these little circular color wheels that rotated blue, red, green and yellow. The yellow made the tree look golden and it was the most beautiful thing ever. I loved watching that little color wheel spin. It was a slow spin and it was very pretty. Sometimes,  the tree would be part blue and part red or part gold and part green. It was just breathtaking. Any little girl who loved color would love watching the tree turn the different colors.

But, at home, it was usually a flocked tree. I liked the flocking. It reminded me of what the North Pole must have looked like with all it’s snowy, reaching trees.

Now that my husband and I are older, the tree is not so important. Most years, we get a small tree since our kids are grown and on their own.

Christmas has changed for us too. It’s not about all the toys and presents and things. For us, it is more about the celebration of the Christ child and the love within our family .  I love Christmas, still though. It’s the best holiday of the year!

Christmas Carols in the Car

The beginning of this week found me being a real humbug. Nothing else could describe it. I said to my husband-or someone- “I don’t mind Christmas carols, but I’m thinking just the last two weeks of December would be fine to listen to them .Much more than that and this early, is just asking too much.” Now, I did admit to my husband, mostly to myself the statement sounded a bit Scrooge-ish.

Fast forward to today.When I listen to the radio, I either listen to KLTY, the local Christian Rock Station or KRLD 1080, all news. I love to listen to the news.The whole problem with spending the day in your car and listening to the news channel is the news seems to repeat every so often. I, then, get tired of hearing the same thing over and over. So, begrudgingly, I turned the station to KLTY. I say begrudgingly because I knew they were playing Christmas carols and I didn’t really want to hear them yet.  But,it was like I was drawn to it. I’m sure that was the case here.

The first Christmas carol I heard was “Mary, did you know?” -my favorite. Such a sweet song. If you haven’t heard it, the question is “Mary did you know your baby boy would one day walk on water? Mary did you know your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?” I love this song because -well, it’s kind of confusing. Sometimes, I imagine it’s God talking to her as a pregnant young lady. Most of the time, though, I think it must be a friend or perhaps God, talking to her after the death and resurrection of her Son, Jesus- not mockingly, but as if to comfort her. I can imagine how special she must have felt, knowing God chose her among all the women in world to carry His Son. I can imagine it was a heavy burden for her to carry, first by herself-before Joseph knew- and then for them to carry together. I can appreciate the excitement and burden they must have felt. I imagine it must have been overwhelming all in all.

You might be able to guess I felt as if God directed me to that station at that moment to remind me what Christmas is all about. Not stuff. Just Him.

The Onslaught Begins!

Now that Thanksgiving is almost over, the onslaught of Christmas advertisements will begin in full force. The commercial that was cute the first 5 times ceases to be cute long before Christmas comes. Are you ready for it? I suppose I am- only time will tell.Sometimes, companies will forego new ads for this year and play one from long ago. Oh my gosh! I hate that. The commercial is dated and everyone was sick of it by the time Christmas came the year or years before when it premiered in the first place! Resist the temptation to succumb to such tom foolery! It’s hard, hard to resist such cutitity. Alas, we must!

By the time Christmas comes along, I hope to have kept and maintained a list of the advertisements I liked and the ones I quickly got tired of. I’d love to hear some of yours too. I guess I am easily amused because I have, from an early age mocked commercials-first at the dinner table with my parents-enacting Excedrin commercials in the 60’s. How they would laugh-encouraging more and more enactments and morphing into reading the Sunday comics – Snuffy Smith in particular-giving everyone in the comic a different voice. I was also known as the jokester – going from one hair dressers station to another’s telling jokes and making folks laugh. I fear they only laughed because I was the bosses daughter. But, I digress into my memories.

Back to the original thought. I’ve always believed that the Christmas season was not official until the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade’s Santa Claus appeared.It always seemed as if once he appeared, so did the advertisements.I believed that as a child and now, as an adult! Funny how our early memories of Christmas and other events shape our adult ideas and thoughts. I can’t wait to share more of this with you.

Until then… watch for the fallout!

just one of the season's  adverts.
just one of the season’s adverts.

However Dysfunctional, There was Fun!

Everyone’s family has a bit of dysfunction in it. It’s okay. Ours was that way too. But, I like to think we put the “fun” in dysfunctional. We all loved to laugh- my mother most of all. So, you can imagine how confused I was when my mother declared my lifelong friend, Kim Gibson Wallis and I “as silly as blackbirds.” I mean, after all, where did she think I learned it ? No matter, the truth of the matter was that Kim and I thought it incredibly funny! Funny, funny, funny.

As long as I can remember, we had dinners for my mom’s side of the family at our house all the time. My mother and her sister, Ginny, alternated years as to who would host the Christmas dinner. It really didn’t matter, I don’t think to us kids where it was, just as long as it was.  It was our time to see each  other and play like the wild kids we wished we could be all the time.

If we were at Ginny’s house, then my cousin, Matt would be in charge of what we played and stuff. After all, he did live there and he would be the one to get into trouble (mostly) if we did stuff we weren’t supposed to. Younger readers may be confused because we were actually outside, in the sunshine, running, chasing, playing and teasing one another. Yes, that’s what I said- Outside. Sunshine. Playing. All those things kids barely know the meaning of anymore. Well, anyway, no matter whose house we were at (Texan phraseology, i’m afraid), one game was a constant- “Big Kids Run From the Little Kids.” I never was much of a runner, in fact, I was the last one chosen on a team of any sorts at school recess, but I could outrun the little kids! When Gary, my mom’s brother’s kid, his sisters, Jayne and Amy got to come, it was so much fun! Gary, Matt, Phil (Matt’s brother)  and I ran away from poor Jayne and Amy.  Of course, it wasn’t long til Jayne was “one of us.”

A Holiday dinner at our house
A Holiday dinner at our house

Oh my gosh! Our parents could just look at each other and start laughing- something their offspring can do as well. It was always fun to know someone else was thinking the same thing at

Being silly and laughing was a genetic trait for us
Being silly and laughing was a genetic trait for us

the same time. Ever happen to you?

Of course, with all of us, there was the “odd, but lovely” relative. This would be our Aunt Dillie. She came to be Aunt Dillie because someone as a baby couldn’t say Nellie. So, Dillie it was. We kinda made alot of fun of poor old Dillie, because she could sniff more times in a row than anyone else in the world!  Not only that, but she could burp louder than a guy and we thought it was hysterical. Of course, not to her face. We held it til we were out of the room and then we’d really let the hysteria go.

Turns out, poor old Dillie, unbeknownst to us at such an early age, had been set to marry a young man and he left her at the alter. So, these interesting traits of hers probably came about after the fact. She never married or had a gentleman suitor again. Tragic, really. However, as in Shakespeare, some tragedies are comedy and we thought she was plenty funny.

I am reminiscing because my cousin , Gary, will be spending the weekend with me. For the Fourth of July. I haven’t seen him in years and I am so excited to see him. Because it is a holiday, it reminds me of being a kid, looking out the window , waiting for him to arrive- waiting impatiently for the fun to begin!