I'm sitting here, in the quiet of morning, by myself. The day will soon start with all the noise, voices and laughter of the day. It snowed the day before yesterday and the ground still has a fair amount of snow on it. Today is magic time. All the christmas decorations go up today. We will make some hot cocoa, put on some christmas music ( our favorite is Trans Siberian Orchestra) and we will all work to turn our house into a wonderland fit for Santa Claus himself. We have a lot of antique bulbs and ornaments that came from my grandmothers house. I have the wooden ornaments that my siblngs and I painted many years ago when I was just a child. The story goes that after we were done painting them and went to bed, my mom and dad stayed up and re-painted them with slightly more attention to detail. We never noticed, we all just thought we did a really fantastic job and my parents wouls show them to all their friends and tell them "the kids painted these all by themselves!". Every year we hang the plastic evergreen and holly letters that spell out Noel, only we hang it backwards so it says Leon. My bother Russell did that one year after a few too many rum and eggnogs and the tradition was born. It actually has the letters and 3 elves that, too me, look more like the rice krispie dudes than elves. Anyway, thay have always been known as the Fags. So the entire decoration is known as "Leon and the 3 Fags". The special bulb that goes on the tree is one Tom ans I found the year we got married, It is a precious moments bulb that depicts a scene of the Mom serving cookies to her husband, who is setted in a chair, while 4 children run around playing. There are 3 boys and a little girl. It is so perfect, because its just like our family. We have the Santas head that was made out of a bleach bottle and yarn that is really quite cute. My mom and I took a ceramics class together the year Kelsey was born and my Mom made me a "shelf sitter" in the shape of a mouse. I didn't know she was making it for me, even though she was sitting right beside me. I have ornaments and figurines that friends and family have gotten us, and everytime they come out of the box, its like pulling out a memory of that person.
We had a fire in our apartment about 11 years ago, just after Thangsgiving. I lost just about everything I owned. Some of the kids ornaments survived the fire, while others did not. Over the years since, we have gathered many decorations. We either bought these on various outings, or they were given to us. Now every piece that I have is special to me because it represents each and every person who loves and cares about us. Toms mom bought us a keyboard and drum ornament when Shawn first got into music. My freind Leslie gave me some brandy snifters which had red bows on the. Last year, Tom and I went up to the Kangamangus Highway to find our tree. We hiked through the woods and gathered pinecones, berries,ect. and put them in the snifters. Kimmie gave me a large bowl hand painted with hollys and such. That looks really pretty filled with not so perfect glass bulbs from my moms youth. A table runner from Wendi, a pine scented candle from my sister. The 2 snowmen having a snowball fight from Tammy. All wonderful memories.
This year, we started a new one. I am sick of trying to fight with the stockings to get more gifts into them. So I bought canvas tote bags and had each kid decorate them which ever way they saw fit. Yes I realize it means more space to fill in the stocking, but was a lot of fun to see how each person would make it their own. Besides, they came out really nice and who says you have to use what others consider the norm? Hey, if we can have Leon and the 3 fags, we can have christmas totes!!