I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

I know. It’s July. But I’m already thinking of Christmas.  I start early!

Last year I made the tough decision to not unpack all my boxes of Christmas decorations. Yes, all my garlands, ornaments and the Christmas village stayed in their boxes. The train set was not put under the tree. I just didn’t have the energy to unpack, decorate and then pack it all up again a month later. I couldn’t think about protecting all those things from the hands of two little girls who would un-decorate quicker than I could catch them. I thought if Buddy The Elf could make his home look festive with paper crafts, so could I!

So, all that we took out were the Merry Christmas sign (I made out of an old fence board) and Snowman (my sister made for us out of the same old fence!) for our porch and the Christmas twinkle lights. We did go and cut down a tree….I tried going without that one year when our oldest daughter was a baby and that was too much of a sacrifice! I love the smell of a tree (and no, the evergreen fragrance candle did not work)!

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DSC08299_cropThen I got out paper and and my paper cutter! We made the rest of our decorations. I probably spent $10 on paper and cellophane. I used wrapping paper, ribbon, cellophane and toilet paper rolls for the candy ornaments (which could be filled with real candy for Christmas Eve!). The rest were one inch paper strips stapled into shapes of ornaments and hearts. We also made paper chain garlands to hang around the windows and snowflakes out of old rolls of fax paper (it’s nice and thin to cut!).  I remember making the heart decorations in school the winter we spent in Sweden.

Our oldest daughter really enjoyed making the decorations. I had fun as well! She loved helping decorate. I brought out our box of supplies when family came over also.

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Here’s what the tree looked like when we were done. You can see some of our snowflakes hanging off the candle holder on the ceiling. I just used mono-filament thread to give it an airy look.

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They would move around the ornaments on the tree and redecorate. And after a few days  the girls had ripped and torn apart some of our projects. Oh, well! Notice the bottom half of the tree is bare!

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At the end of the season we were able to just toss everything but the lights. The pack rat in me wanted to save them, but I knew that was beside the purpose of having a homemade Christmas!

I got all the festivity without all the stress!

If You Leave Me Now

 Peter Cetera and Me

Last light I was able to leave for the evening without any kids! I hadn’t left our 9 month old for more than a couple hours before,  so I was a little nervous. The baby did fine, but one of my 2 year olds was so upset that when I left that she cried so hard she threw up. I told my husband, “you should have called me and I could’ve have talked to her”. My husbands response? “She was fine”.  Good to know I can leave without traumatizing anyone!

A month ago I saw an ad in our local paper advertising a concert. My sister is friends with the guy who puts together these shows, and often she’ll get complimentary tickets. I’m normally not a concert person but thought that this one would be fun! I sent her this message; “I might just go to the Peter Cetera concert if you get tickets and ask me. I’m pretty sure I might do that…. you know if someone gives you tickets and you want company….”

Well, she said she wasn’t going to go.   Drat.

She ended up deciding to go and last night we got to see Peter Cetera sing!  We had VIP tickets and in the center second row. Aaannnnddd….we got to go backstage and meet him! I shook his hand and got a picture with him.  Now, you hope these things will happen, but I wasn’t going to count on it, just getting to go was great!

So many good songs were played. You could tell most of the audience was there to hear the Chicago era songs, though. They sure were excited! (Thank you  Mr. Loud Whistler Sitting Behind Me, I couldn’t tell which were your favorite songs.)  The audience was louder than the band! The back up singer did a fun version of Cher in After All.  And Next Time You Fall In Love, Glory Of Love (You know, from Karate Kid II) and You’re The Inspiration….the songs I remember listening to when I was a kid.

And I have a photo with him…did I mention that?