Thursday, 29 December 2011

{Rewind} Cool

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Another one I thought I'd rewind. I really like this photo. It was taken on Saturday 26 June.

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This was my odometer today. Very unexcitingly we were in Dandenong* on the way to buy panels for a new fence. But this was cool. And made The Innovator and I grin at each other like idiots.

* I don't live in Dandenong we just happened to be right there when the numbers ticked over. Not that there's anything wrong with Dandenong but I can't believe we weren't somewhere cooler when it happened...

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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

{Christmas} 8 things to deal with when decorating a Christmas tree.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Who knew there would be so many decisions about how to decorate the Christmas tree?

Rituals. Family traditions. Love them. I just didn't love Christmas, until this year. This year Chatterbox gets it. He has an advent calendar which houses a little surprise every day, he knows Father Christmas brings presents (and is demanding the whole catalogue, any catalogue), and has just realised Santa and Father Christmas are the same person.

This year we have our first proper Christmas tree. Well, proper for us because I have now learned that proper for one is not proper for another. It is all relative. What I didn't realise is there are so many polarising issues regarding Christmas tree decoration. Oh my gawd, I'm not cut out for this competition. Here are eight issues I had to resolve...

#1. Uniform versus eclectic range of decorations.

I mentioned we were thinking of getting a tree to a friend. She is the self-appointed 'Christmas tree Queen'. *rolling my eyes* Apparently House of Christmas is the place to go for the tree because they're only $400 as opposed to the $800 at David Jones. This from a person whose Christmas tree bill, including decorations came to $1,200. *really rolling my eyes now* And she offered to come with me to help me "do it right" *really, really rolling my eyes now* because according to her "my Mum has her tree covered in all sorts of decorations and it looks shit." Ummm, but I love the eclectic look. It dawned on me, people are probably in two camps - those who want their tree to look like one from a department store and those, like me, who love the eclectic look. The ones I've collected over the years from countries I've visited or presents from people. The ones that are red or green or white or silver or gold or any colour. This leads to issue #2.

#2. Shop-bought versus homemade. 

So I haven't always loved Christmas but I have loved, and still do, that Mum still has the decorations I made as a kid. Here are my three favourites. This star is from 1983 - it's drinking straws covered in foil with silver tinsel wrapped around. I love it and it has adorned every tree my Mum has had since I made it.




The same friend, you know the 'Christmas tree Queen' was equally as scathing about the homemade ones. "Oh, but you're not like that, you'll have an elegant tree" or words to that effect. Actually, I am like that. I cannot wait until Chatterbox and Little Cowboy are old enough to help me stick pins in sequins then in polystyrene balls, and cut shapes from salt dough, and stick pasta together, or pegs together. I cannot wait. But I guess if you haven't got kids you might not appreciate it. The funniest part - when she told me even when she has kids she's going to keep her tree and never display their arts and crafts. Ha!

#3. Fake versus real.

Don't get me wrong, I do love real trees. I just don't love paying $80 or so every year, then having to clean up the needles and dispose of the tree. That's all. The smell of pine is not enough of a incentive. I can buy pine smell in a can, or sniff the tree down the road if I really want. So, we have a fake tree. $27 at Big W and I love it. Simple decision for us. But I know some people who will, under no circumstances, even entertain the thought of having anything other than a real tree. (I cannot, cannot rave enough about our $27 tree. It is AWESOME and only $27. Normally I wouldn't buy something so inexpensive because I'd presume cheapness, but cheap this is not. Value value value.)

#4. December 1 versus earlier.

So we decorated the Christmas tree on November 27. I woke up hungover and realised I couldn't remember what was planned for December and well, it seemed like a good idea. Apparently, according to some high-and-mighty-people I know (read: self-righteous and painful) that was the wrong thing to do. Stick it up your...nose. Who cares? If Coles can put out Christmas things in September I can surely decorate my tree on November 27.

#5. Lights versus no lights.

The Innovator said no lights. So we have no lights. The tree looks a little bereft but I don't trust my kids around lights and cords and the like. Apparently, this is a big no-no for some people. Meh, they clearly don't have kids like mine.

#6. No tinsel versus tinsel (or other sparkly bits).

Growing up we had tinsel. Then Mum went through a phase where we had icicles. You know those long pieces of tinsel that aren't in strands? I don't like either. I love lights but I don't like the sparkly bits. So we have no sparkly bits. Yes, the tree looks a touch bare, but I still love it.

#7. What goes on the top?

Angel or star? We have nothing on top. Yet. I just haven't got round to it. Any suggestions?

#8. Presents out early or hidden from prying fingers?

This one's a no-brainer for me - my kids are nearly-three and nearly-one. Presents would last as long as the time it would take me to turn my back. The bottom of our Christmas tree is bare. I think it's going to make it all the more exciting when they come downstairs - from nothing to piles!

I am constantly amazed at people's perceptions of an acceptable Christmas tree. Some of my friends have the saddest looking tree. When questioned why, the response is generally "we kinda have to, for the kids." My take? If you can't get out of it, get into it. And just to prove how annoyingly contradictory I can be - ignore those who criticise your tree and do what you want!

What's your tree like?