Christmas Decorating

Family tradition decrees that we don’t start our decorating here until Advent begins (4 Sundays before Christmas.  If things go according to plan, we decorate a little at a time – well, that’s my plan anyway – hubby is more of an all or nothing kind of decorator.  At this point in the calendar however, we’re still on my schedule.

Today, the 16 yr old put together a lovely centrepiece for the advent wreath.  There is no way I can safely light even my tallest candles with this arrangement, lovely though it is, so I think I will use separate candle holders placed well away from the greenery – most of our meals would not benefit from the flambee treatment.

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Earlier in the week, the 19 yr old decorated the hand rail of the porch – lovely don’t you think?

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Last Sunday, the younger one made the door wreath for me – gorgeous.

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And then there’s my effort… Mine is the exterior Christmas lights on our house.  10 strings, each 25 ft long of LED lights secured along the eaves of the house on two sides, the road and driveway sides.  I realize you only see a very small portion of the total length in this picture, but how many bulbs do you see shining there?

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I can confirm that yes indeed, the single red light you see there is the ONLY light that comes on when I turn on the outside lights.   I spent three hours battling with these lights last Sunday and I was not in a very Christmassy mood by the time I finally gave up, having convinced 4 of the 10 strings to come on.

I moaned about this to hubby over dinner, he who used to be responsible for this particular aspect of Christmas decorating until this year, who said brightly “oh, you know what, that happened last year too – they don’t work well when it’s cold”.

Wait, what did you say – they don’t work when it’s cold?  THIS IS CANADA!!!! Are you kidding me?  Christmas is cold in Canada.  Always.  Even here, in the warmest corner of the country in the winter, our night temperature is typically hovering around 0 C this time of year.  Last week, when i was up and down the ladder a million times tweaking and adjusting and replugging and swearing…the night temperature was -3.

But sure enough, as long as the temperature is above 0 C, they seem to work OK.  Not right away – it takes a couple of hours for the rest of the strings to come on, but if you wait all night, you might get to see both sides of our house lit up by midnight.  If only I could stay awake that long, I’d see them too.

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11 thoughts on “Christmas Decorating

  1. Your gorgeous decorations put our Christmas tat to shame and I am literally laughing out loud at your picky house lights. You gotta love that “oh yes, I remember now…” thing other family members do, generally after you spend way too much time trying to make something work and, in my case, all the while convinced that it’s my lack of ability causing the malfunction.
    Wishing you a run of about 0 C nights, for you and your obstinant lights 🙂

    • Yes, you clearly understand…thank you!

      Don’t worry, we’ve not got round to decorating inside yet. You’ll see that I’ve been giving you a slightly false impression with these pictures…There is this appalling mini singing Christmas tree with flashing lights for eyes and clacking teeth for a mouth that cranks out Jingle Bells…there are the Bubble Lights – reproduction ones based on a type popular in the 1950’s – which probably should have stayed in that decade…they also only work sometimes and it’s hubby who can’t bring himself to throw them out – what is it with him and dysfunctional Christmas lights? You’ll see, if I actually take pictures…

  2. Crack me up! When I started reading this post about the lovely decorations your girls made (quite talented those two!), I felt a pang of jealousy and then guilt as I have yet to get into the Christmas spirit (having spent the weekend shoveling wet clay into trenches). However, as I read on about your lights I felt a sense of camaraderie – and thought ahh yes, that’s more my speed! I think they say those experiences “build character”…
    Happy holiday decorating to quite a character!

  3. I know, I’m jealous of the girls too, and grateful to have them around to make us look all artistic. I am starting to feel at this point in my life that I have enough character thank you…and I’m sure you feel the same about the kind of character derived from trench filling. Nothing quite like wet clay to way about a ton per shovel…

  4. farmerkhaiti says:

    your kids are so talented! Beautiful arrangements inside and out! And funny funny about the dang lights -I remember being the one to untangle them before every Christmas as a kid.

    • Yes, I was proud of the girls handiwork (you can tell :)). Those lights – after two weeks I’ve finally got in the habit of turning them on at 4pm so they’re actually ON by dark at 5pm. Well half of them…

  5. Bill says:

    I had to laugh at your not-in-the-cold Christmas lights. The lights in our barn don’t work when it’s cold and wet. In order words, when we need them the most. Our goats prefer to have their babies in the middle of the night while it’s snowing (only if they need assistance that is, if they don’t they kid on warm sunny days). Lights would be a nice thing to have then.

    May you have a Merry Christmas season, temperamental lights or not.

    • Yes, there does seem to be a Murphy’s law effect at work with animals when they need us to get down and dirty with them. So I wonder what it is that causes this with some lights, like your barn, and my Christmas lights…

  6. df says:

    Your girls have a way with the greenery; what beautiful, natural Christmas decorations! I wish they could come over to my place and spruce it up! Petkid and I went on a walk through our woods earlier this week, gathering branches and we put together a little ‘tree’ using a gardening pyramid on our front porch, decorating it with wide red and gold ribbon. No Christmas lights up this year, we just didn’t get around to it, though we always have white fairy lights on a tree behind our house. I’ve never experienced lights that were flaky in the cold, that’s a new one for me! Hope you get to enjoy them more than not!

    • The greenery on the porch rail is staying beautifully green, being liberally rained upon this week – the wreath might have to be redone before Christmas. I love the sound of your little porch tree. My grandmother always did a tree for the birds – it was a big branch stuck in a pot of gravel, with suet balls and a feeder and other bird friendly things hung on it.

      Those lights….enough to turn me into a Grinch. They are on in patches tonight – and we’re in light drizzle at around plus 5. Next year…

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