Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Decking the Halls and Hanging the Greens! The Lair Gets Merry-fied!
by Jeanne Adams
Seriously, how can it POSSIBLY be the 8th of December already? Have you decked your halls? Is there mistletoe in your foyer?
There is still one Hanukah candle to light tonight and tomorrow night, so I can still send Hanukah cards, right?
Oh. My. Goodness. Where did the year go? Sven?!?! When did you and the Hockey Hunks put up the wreaths on the tower? Who distracted Ermingar...oh. Paolo. So sorry, dear. Low man on the totem pole deal. You're like Shaggy from Scooby Doo, you make great "live bait" for distracting the dragon so the guys can start the Hanging of the Greens. Well done, sir, well done. (And not too singed either! He must be fast!)
And that TREE!! *picture me clasping my hands in rapture* Sven!! You've out done yourself! Oh my, that's a beauty! Big, full, gorgeous! (They dusted the snow off before they brought it in)
I love that you've already started hanging ornaments. Awwww, you started with some decorations from Jo Davis's famous firehouse! (Wasn't last week's visit the bomb?! Oh, sorry, I should say, wasn't it great! Don't want to mention bombs around the firefighters!)
WOW! And ornaments with everyone's book covers! WOW!! Where did you get those? KJ got them? I should have known. Oh, and Kirsten found us a seriously wacky ornament each! Oh, I LOVE them!!! Thanks, Kirsten! Your blog about the misfit toys made me laugh and decide to start a wacky ornament tradition at our house too!
And is that Donna's egg nog recipe? Daaaaannnnng! That's dangerous! But delicious. Sven, just how much eggnog did you MAKE? Whoa! We may need some cots if people drink too much of that stuff.
What's in the other punch bowl? Lordy, The Goddess Sangria's been here too? That's beautiful, and so is the silver bowl. (Sven found it in Ermingarde's treasure stash. I've never been willing to ask how he convinced her to part with it - but it holds gallons, has a silver ladle to match that's the size of a stein so be careful if you get Sangria! You'll get a LOT!)
Oh, I just LOVE decorating the Lair and the tree! One of my best and fondest memories from growing up was decorating the house for Christmas. My family usually waited until the hanging of the greens at church, or just before my birthday, whichever came first. None of this "day after Thanksgiving" stuff. It had to at LEAST be December 1 before the tree went up. There were icicles, and ornaments old and new. There were wreaths for the door and a creche and all the cool stuff for Christmas decorating.
Things are on a bit larger scale in the Lair, but it's the same idea, and with so much help, it's just a delicious event! C'mon! Grab some tinsel! Shake it out. Bunches or strands, there's plenty of tree to decorate.
Unlike the Lair, the one thing we didn't have a lot of growing up were outdoor lights. Did you? Was anyone in your neighborhood the family that did the lights up so big they caused blackouts? Grins.
I remember the year my Mom relented on the "no outdoor lights" rule - said with the same frowning disapproval she held for overt public displays of affection - and let me and Daddy wrap the outdoor lampost like a candy cane in red and white lights. She pronounced it "relatively tasteful", but still gave a bit of a disdainful sniff. I remember Daddy's conspiratorial grin.
The next year, we managed to persuade her to let us put white lights in the little bitty spruce tree. She wouldn't unbend more than that, however, so we stuck to our "win" such as it was.
Inside there was holly in vases, smaller evergreen wreaths as a centerpiece on the dining table, silver to polish, and all the smells of home combined with the exciting smell of Holiday baking, Christmas tree, and fires in the fireplace.
I was fascinated with Dorene, yesterday's guest, talking about sensory perception and learning and memory. (I'm fascinated with that anyway, but...) Oddly enough, it's the smells of Christmas, as much or more than the sights that make me feel the season's cheer.
Nothing says Christmas like gingerbread. Isn't this a lovely attempt to capture the Lair? A few too many towers, and a bit too Cinderella-y, but a farily good go at it. Grins.
What about you? Sights? Scents? Tastes? What says, "Oh, my GOSH! It's finally HERE!" Spinning the dredle and getting the gelt? Sugar cookies? Presents under the tree? Gingerbread? Stockings?
Do you hang real greens at your house, or all they all the wonderful artificial wreaths and trees? (Ummm, Sven? I think there's a heron in the greens....SHOO!) Where was I? Oh, artificial trees. They look so good, I consider an artificial one every year. Then I remember how the real ones smell and go for that again.
Grab a mug of spiced cider or nog - Sven's spiced cider is the envy of every blogger and Castle Kitchen for leagues - and tell me about how you deck your halls!
Pull up a gladiator...I mean a chair, here by the fireplace. Yes, it IS big enough to roast an ox, and Ermingarde has asked us to do so, but it's a lot of trouble and she's not exactly dainty, you know? Maybe for New Years....nobody notices a bit of mess at New Years. Grins. Besides, if we tried to roast an ox, we might set fire to all the stockings. With 20 of us, and all the cast and crew here, it looks like something Seuss might have drawn when all the stockings are hung, by the chimney with care! The variation in size alone is cartoonish. Grins. Compare Susan or Cassondra's dainty stocking with Demetrius's...
What IS that thing he put up instead of a stocking? Nevermind. I don't want to know. Point is, the size differentials are astounding. Thankfully, we've not yet tried to get an embroidered stocking from Lands End in Ermingarde's size. Maybe next year. Grins.
Anyway, I want to know about YOUR wreaths and swags and baubles and bells, lights and tinsel and Granny's Menorah and all your favorite holiday trappings.
We'll be doing it up big again this year here in the Lair, presents and all, starting next week. In the meantime, tell me about your decorating as we watch the guys climb the ladders to wrap that evergreen roping around the rafter beams.
It's a sight to behold