My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas and Thoughts on It

I think most people would be surprised at how I decorate at Christmas. For me and Love Bunny, it's all about traditions. While I believe new traditions can be made by each and everyone of us and our families, we pretty much stick to the traditions of our forefathers and mothers. But first of all I'm wishing all of you a

Merry Christmas!!!

I've flitted about the blogs these past several days looking at each person's Christmas trees and gifts under the tree but you'll find it a bit different in this household. I do NOT mean it's better or worse, just different. I wouldn't be mean to any of you chicks! My heart is a tender one most times. So sit back and just enjoy my Christmas post. I'm composing this on monday the 22nd of December and will probably "edit" it for the next 2 days. *Grinning*..........

I've always been know to do things a tad different when asked to speak at church or something like that. It's just my nature to try and put a different perspective on things so bear with me.

This is our Christmas tree. The cost of trees is getting almost prohibitive and we don't want to go to the mountains and cut our own. (Let me be clear on this: hubs does; I don't! I hate driving on snow covered roads.) So we decided last year to buy a faux tree. Yesssss, we succumbed in order to save that money for other things and we're seniors so for us it's not a big deal not having a fresh tree. Oh, I know some want the smell and the adventure of going out to find one whether it be the local tree lot or the local mountain. This works for us.

I would love a white one to be decorated in PINK! I think hubs would cry if I did that. He's truly the sentimental traditionalist in this family. Okay okay, I'll admit to it also. Who am I trying to kid? But that man does NOT ask for much and I give him things that are extremely important to him. I save my battles for pink things that I just cannot live without - like walls! He's like a little kid when it comes to Christmas and "his" tree. So we have the green tree.

Now, for the ornaments.

If you've never read most of my blog posts then you may not be aware hubs is a retired Marine, which means he spent 2 years away from us when we were younger. He went to Okinawa for 13 months in the 60s and missed being home for Christmas. That year I spent with my family in San Jose, Calif. Then again in the early 70s he spent another 13 months in Okinawa missing another Christmas while I spent that year in Pennsylvania near his family. The kids and I spent that year making our decorations. It's one of the things that kept me sane because I had never lived there and everything was so strange to me and not knowing anyone left a hole in my heart. We didn't see his family much that year. I painted and decoupaged those ornaments and that's what we've used on our tree ever since. We add a few others to the tree but those ornaments are always on there and always will be. I think hubs would cry if I changed that. It's the things like this that make a family unique I believe. So we have just a plain green tree with a lot of memories hanging from it.

I've only included a few on which to comment. This one reminds me of families sitting down together. Even one Christmas apart is one too many. We always sit at a table. I believe it's one of the most important things in our home: the dining table. It's where we talk, share stories of the day, discuss family business and teach our children manners. This isn't easily done at a kitchen bar with people sitting four, five, six or more in a row. It needs to be a "table" to bond properly I believe. In the "old" days just about every problem could be solved around that table. Even in restaurants I always ask for a table, in lieu of a booth. I love the it and all that it invokes in my heart. Our food is always blessed also. No eating without prayers of thankfulness.

Yes, I still believe in Santa Claus!! He's not the focal point in our home, but kids do soooo get a kick outta this character. ;-)

This ornament reminds me of the time we lived in Oceanside, Calif. when hubs was in the Marines and we had just had our second child. We were poor. Marines in those days didn't make near what the ones today make even with inflation. I do not begrudge them at all. I think anyone serving in our Armed Forces deserves as much as they can get. I'd gladly pay extra tax if our Armed Forces would be able to not pay any tax. That's how strongly I feel about it.

Anyway, it was Christmas Eve and we didn't have a tree. I had told hubby for 2 weeks we didn't need one. We simply couldn't afford the extra money to buy one so I decided that presents were more important than a tree for our 2 babies - both under 2 at that time.

Well, as is usually the case in situations like this I started bawling that afternoon that we "didn't have a tree." (Our '57 Oldsmobile didn't run either and the previous summer while trying to fix it by taking the motor out with the help of the government housing playground swing posts and a chain, hubs and friends bent the swing set in the playground! Only those involved in the incident of the Olds knew what really happened and they never squealed. It was a long time ago, but I seem to recall "adult" beverages were somehow involved also. *Sigh*....... ) So hubby left our military housing apartment on foot and walked the long distance into our town of Oceanside
to look for a tree - a bit of a ways since military housing was out away from the town itself. There were absolutely none left in the town! So he walked to the next nearest town of Carlsbad - a couple of miles. Remember, he was a Marine and was used to "walking"! So he got to Carlsbad and found a lot with a few scraggly trees left. He had $2.25 in his pocket and that wouldn't cover the price of a tree. So the owner of the lot felt sorry for him and charged him $2.00 for the tree and that left him 25¢ to catch a bus back to our apartment as he couldn't walk that far carrying a tree. But he said when he got on that bus everyone looked at him as if he was crazy. He then walked from town out to our apartment and brought it into the house and I cried some more. While it wasn't the goose this guy in the ornament is carrying, it sure was golden to us to be able to have a tree for our son's first Christmas. It was late Christmas eve but we had a tree!!!

This one simply reminds me to have a song in my heart during this particular holiday season. I can carry about every 3rd note but I sing loudly in church especially during the Christmas season. Favorite song: Angels We Have Heard On High. I love the GlooooOOOOOooooOOOrias in that one!!!!

What can I say here, the man is hooked on trains! :-)

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go......remember that song? I don't know about you but I never ever went to my grandmother's house in the snow, much less in a sleigh, but it does produce wonderful visions in my head of the scene in that song.

Reminds me of the above story of the Christmas tree and the rejoicing we did that night.

Kinda reminds me of "Scrooge" but I'm never a bah-humbug kind of person. This is a reminder to never be one either. I rejoice in the season.

This little jack-in-the-box always reminds me of "The Nutcracker Suite." Don't know why, doesn't matter; it just does.

Fireplaces are synonymous with Christmas, don't you think? Well, I do, even if we don't have one in this house.

I used to ice skate and loved it. I've never been on a sleigh on the ice though. I love the flippy little skating skirts we'd wear. If I tried that now I'd be in traction the rest of my life! Hah........

Yes, we all want peace on earth but it isn't happening and probably won't until our Savior comes again. BUT we can have peace in our homes. My home is my refuge from the harshness of this world. But it is still a wonderful world, my sweet friends, and this country is the absolutely best on the face of the earth. We are a truly blessed nation.

What would the holiday season be without the wreath hanging on the front door? It just makes everyone smile and happy seeing it.

Our current tree topper. It's changed through the years as they get broken but this one has stuck for several years because it isn't breakable and I'm too lazy and sentimental to buy a new one. This will have to do until Love Bunny decides that we need a jazzier one. ;-)

We talked to our kids a few years ago and told them to not buy us anything for Christmas any more. They decided to do the same thing also so we don't exchange gifts. (Besides, we now have 4, yesssss, 4 massage mats for our home and cars thanks to our son and his family.) There is truly nothing in this world I need or want that I don't already have. Priorities change as we "assume more years"! Hubs and I don't even exchange gifts now. Just don't need to do it as we buy what we want throughout the year. I do, however, buy him this box of candy each year since he loves licorice and I can't stand it. I can't even stand the smell. So you know how much I love that man when I can give him something that stinks so badly! That's a lot, trust me!!!

And lastly, this is, for us, what the season is all about. That Man that died for us over 2,000 years ago after being born in a humble stable in Bethlehem. For that I am soooooo grateful and blessed beyond measure. So from the top of my graying fluffy hair to the bottom of these "redone" toes, I wish all of you the very best Christmas you could ever want. We are truly blessed beyond our dreams in this household. I hope you are also. *Smiling at ya!*


  1. I love your tree and all the stories behind your decorations.

    Hope you and hubs have the best and most blessed Christmas ever.

    Hugs from The Netherlands.


  2. Oh, I loved visiting your tree, Connie!! Just like you, we went 'faux' tree for the first time last year. I would have loved a white or even a flocked tree, but we got a traditional green one... I love all your ornaments and the special meanings behind them! Some of them even reminded me of ones that I painted in the 70's (from little wood Christmas tree ornament kits)... Hubby and I don't exchange gifts anymore either (maybe something under $10 or so) - although we may split the cost of a new sump pump for the basement early next year and call that our gift to each other! (We've become quite practical as we've gotten older!)... Oooh, I have to admit I do love Good & Plenty!! (You do remember what Charlie says, right?) "It's the one and only candy that I love so well" ... Merry Christmas, Connie!... Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage

  3. Oh honey...what a beautiful post!! Merry Christmas and many more blessings to you and yours!

    Jan & Tom


  5. Hi Connie! What a beautiful story! I love your tree and decorations! Merry Christmas! And a bless one too! Deb

  6. Dear Connieness! Your tree is lovely and I love your stories about it all. Christmas blessings, my friend.
    Be a sweetie,

  7. Oh Connie! I love your tree and the stories behind the ornaments. It is all just beautiful. You are so kind to remember hubs with the Good and Plenty. What a riot!!

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for all you share and for being the special, sweet person you are!!!

  8. Connie, You sure have a way with words.. Your post has touched my heart once again.
    Blessing to you & your family this Christmas.
    Hugs & much love to you sweet Gal!
    ~Mary~ :-}

  9. I love your tree Connie and all the sweet sentiments behind it... have a very Merry Christmas! xo Heather

  10. oh my dear friend...what a great post....loved seeing all the closeups of your sweet ornaments and the stories behind them...and I have to tell you....I LOVE GOOD and licorice jelly beans...all of it...and my *hubs* does he buys it for me...
    Now I would think, you could pick out the pink ones and try those, maybe the PINK would overcome the flavor...
    Connie...Merry Christmas to you and yours....I am sure you will have a Merry one as your blog is a Merry place to be.


    Deb :)

  12. Touched me deeply. Merry Christmas my sweet friend!

  13. Oh, I so enjoyed this wonderful CHRISTMAS post, just filled to the brim with your love...What a sweet spirit you are, Connie....

  14. What a wonderful post, Connie! The memories you shared are priceless--and so very heartwarming. A wonderful Christmas story!
    Christmas Blessings to you, sweet chick!!
    p.s. I did the pre-publish thing like you described..and IT WORKED!
    Thanks so much for the tip!!!

  15. What precious memories in all of those handmade ornaments.

    Thanks for sharing, Connie, you SWEET SWEET CHICKIE, you!

    Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  16. Connie, your memories are beautiful. Darrell and I also forgo the gift thing, We to are so blessed and absolutely nothing we need except to have our family around us. Merry Christmas.

  17. What lovely stories and precious memories, dear Connie! Thank you for sharing them. I also really enjoyed reading about your husband and his service in the Marines.

  18. I loved this so much Connie...and I SO loved the post yesterday. We both know what it is to be married to service men...the hardships and the glory.
    Bless you both...bless all your family. I think you are wonderful...I just adore you.

    Much love and many hugs. Merry Christmas...

  19. I loved this so much Connie...and I SO loved the post yesterday. We both know what it is to be married to service men...the hardships and the glory.
    Bless you both...bless all your family. I think you are wonderful...I just adore you.

    Much love and many hugs. Merry Christmas...

  20. I love your traditions, we find we need less and less as the years go by. I hope you have a very Happy Christmas with your dear family and a wonderful New Year!

  21. I LOVE your tree & the darling stories sweets!!! How touching & sweet! I hope you & your sweet hubby have very MERRY & BLESSED CHRISTMAS & HAPPY & HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!! Love your blog & all your wonderful post hon!
    Deb:) xxxooo

  22. I really enjoyed all your stories, I always do. Merry Christmas to you and love bunny.

  23. Hi Connie,

    That is a beautiful tree and it has so many family memories adorned on it, it's so special.

    Thanks for stopping by and wishing me a Merry Christmas today...I have been so behind in my blog reading, it's not even funny...need a new plan for 2009 :)

    Merry Christmas to you and your hubby and all of you family, Connie!


  24. We, too, being seniors, decided a few years back to go the faux tree route. and, I just LOVE it. No mess, easy to store.....
    Hubby and I get ea other our favorite cologne or a great dvd...never anything big. we are on SS and it takes every penny to stay above water...
    Have a blessed and very Merry Christmas...
    love, bj

  25. Connie,
    You made me cry! I love the story of your sweet husband walking from one town to another for his queen to make her happy with a tree.
    I agree I would pay extra taxes to for our troops watching over and protecting us.
    It is a small Christmas this year for us.Hubby and I didn't buy gift for each other but I did get a bottle of sparkling cider and plan on some smoochies tonight.
    Thank you for sharing the wonderful memories and your lovely tree. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family.
    Hugs, Bobbi Jo

  26. Well you were right about todays post! another hit! have a most wonderful christmas with your hubs! and all the best for next year!
    Gina ;)

  27. What a wonderful post Connie ! I hope you and hubs have a blessed Christmas Day ! I loved your story.

  28. I loved the story about how he got the tree.. those are the things that make Christmas special! Have a wonderful holiday!

  29. Oh honey do I remember those poor days of being a wife of a young Marine....funny I never thought we were poor. Lived on lots of Love.
    I loved your post. The memories brought back so many for me as well.
    Chistmas Blessing to you and your Marine.

  30. Connie:
    What a lovely tribute to what Christmas is all about.
    Roberta Anne

  31. Oh Connie! I loved reading your stories and how they coordinate with each ornament. How fun to reminisce as you put each one of those "memories" on the tree each year. Thanks for sharing. Have a Merry Christmas!

  32. Well my beautiful Connie, it is now 11.30pm on Chrissie night, the kiddies have finally flaked after a very full on day, Hubby I think has also done the same, & I am just sitting here with a huge smile on my face, thankfull for such a great day. Breakfast was spent with hubbies family, then home to *rest* until I had to finish preparing tea for family & friends. Highlight of the day, talking to my Mum & Dad back in New Zealand, & my brother who made it up to spend Chrissie with our wonderful parents. My Dad as usual broke down on the phone, (he LOVES me like you would not beleive) & has been very worried about my state of mind lately but so glad to hear I am well & truly on the road to recovery. The grin wouldn't leave my face as I watched 3 of my 4 kids celebrating with us, THAT to me is what Christmas is all about. Anyway my Sweet Lady, I am Soooooooooo tired, but before I go I want to tell you I thoroughly enjoyed your post, I too have ornaments the kids have made over the years which just mean so much. I gave a lot of thanks today but mostly to the man I could not imagine living without, my gorgeous Hubbie.

    Wishing you & your family the BEST Christmas ever, & hope 2009 is kind to you.

    Lyn xoxox

  33. I love your post and all of the stories and memories that it brings to you and us!!! You have such a good memory of it all, I wonder if I will be as sharp in the future??? Your Christmas is heartwarming and so what it should be about. Jeses and Family!!! All of my traditional ornaments are in storage this year so yours really made up for missing them.
    I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas and I so look forward to seeing what the New Year brings to us all!!

  34. Thanks for sharing, love it. Merry Christmas!

  35. Merry Christmas Connie! Hope you have a blessed holiday and wishing you a safe, healthy and New Year full of love! Love and hugs, Lori

  36. Hi Connie...

    I see your hubs and I LOVE the same candy!!!

    Just dropping in to wish you a Merry Christmas!!

    Jan & Tom

  37. Connie, your memories of Christmasas past are beautiful and so too the history of your tree decorations.
    Hope you and love bunny had a perfect Christmas.

  38. Very nice Connie...I am so glad to be one of your bloggin buddies... Wishing you & your family the bestest Christmas ever... We have had a fun filled day with our family too...


  39. Your tree is beautiful Connie. Christmas decorations are so full of family history and memories! Rachaelxo

  40. That was just beautiful Connie...I really enjoyed reading it!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!


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