Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Transforming a cardboard fireplace

Christmas time was always special in our house. The four of us kiddies, would gather round the Sears Wish Book circling nearly everything it contained. We'd carefully write our first initial next to each gift so Santa would know exactly who in our household had requested the cherished item. However, growing up, our house didn't have a fireplace and therefore no chimney.  Being chimney-less had us very concerned: how on Earth would Santa be able to deliver our presents since our parents would carefully lock up the house tight each evening?

Our clever parents conjured up a tale to allay our fears. We were told that when Santa landed on the roof, his Christmas magic would make the cardboard fireplace become real. That way he could pop down the chimney to leave us presents! This made perfect sense to me since the cardboard fireplace was placed directly in front of the air conditioner. That was the perfect entry point for the magical Christmas dust to transform our cardboard fireplace into a hearth worthy and hefty enough to hold St. Nick himself. And somehow, each year the magic worked just as planned.

One year our crafty parents even set up the video camera, conveniently NOT aimed at said fireplace. Lo and behold the next morning we got another holiday surprise. My Dad played the video back and we heard a whispered "Ho-Ho-Ho!" We stared in awe as the presents 'magically' appeared in piles under the tree. Many years later I'd repeat that same magical cinematography for my own children. My husband and I had played the role behind the scenes as my parents had done many years ago. The magic of Christmas lives on!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas Caroling with the Kool Aid Mom

My Mom is what I refer to as the 'Kool-Aid' Mom. Growing up, all the kids in the neighborhood gravitated to our house. Sure, I suppose it was to be expected during the summer since we were the only ones with an in ground pool, but the rest of the year was pretty much the same. 

Around Christmas time my parents used to invite all the neighborhood kids to our house to practice singing Christmas carols. We would rehearse singing well known carols for a few weeks before we'd make the neighborhood tour. There would always be candy canes during practice and hot chocolate to warm us up after traipsing through the snow to sing at neighbors' doorsteps. While I haven't held caroling practice at my home, I have definitely and proudly inherited the 'Kool-Aid Mom' gene and I love it! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

'Tis the Season

This is certainly a special time of year. I start getting that holiday twinge sometime before Thanksgiving as I begin my holiday preparations. Although I'm not a fan of Christmas decorations and Christmas music being displayed or played in stores before Thanksgiving, once the turkey is out of the oven all bets are off.

This year we decorated the day after Turkey Day. After recovering from a lovely tryptophan-induced food coma, we tricked out the house, inside and out, in St. Nick style. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, twinkly lights adorned the porch and the white Christmas lights on the tree made the family room glow just right. I love this time of year. Sure there's some crazy hustle bustle that goes on, but mostly it's about getting together with family and spoiling the ones you love.

Trying to remember to put a surprise adventure or treat in our family advent calendar will not be an easy feat this year with two teenagers to please but I believe I'm up for the challenge.