Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RWOP: Trying to Keep Christmas Together This Year

This seems to be the Christmas of broken things.  Looking back, my dustpan first started getting use before Thanksgiving, when I dropped a friend's casserole dish in my front hallway.  I was trying to help her juggle her potluck dish, her toddler, and baby on her hip, and the casserole dropped right through the bag she had been carrying it in, and smashed to bits all over the floor, with children who had just taken shoes off everywhere.
Since then, I have broken a couple of glasses, which is relatively unusual for me.  I wasn't even holding L. at the time, so mostly it's just distraction.
Sometime before Christmas,  I found this image of a square vase turned into a Christmas decoration on Pinterest.  I thought it was lovely, but wasn't sure I could forgo my usual dining room centerpiece -- our enormous brandy snifter filled with jewel colored balls.  In January, I swap out the balls for snowflake napkin rings.
Well, there must have been a larger plan, because when I went to the basement to get the glass snifter, and began to unload the snowflakes and candle holders that had been stored in them, one of the candle holders slipped out of my fingers and smashed right through the glass, shattering the whole object.  All the times I'd been so careful washing that glass vase by hand, all the way back in the tiny house J. and I first lived in together flashed through my mind.  I'm not beating myself up over a decoration, but still, a stupid way for it to be broken.
So, new format to display glass balls it is:

I like it -- maybe more than my good old giant brandy glass.

And then there was our Christmas tree.  I'm not sure if you've heard the story of ours falling over two years ago, but it did.  We lost a good number of ornaments.  I've never really gotten over how completely quiet it was, just a little ringing on the way down, and some tinkling of broken glass as it landed.  Amazing.  Well, we have made sure to wire the tree to the wall since then.  This year, our tree is a big improvement on last years', mostly because we didn't buy the first one we saw so that we could get the heck out of Lowes.  However, just like last year, the buying, lighting, and hanging of ornaments on our tree this year was quite a marathon of a day.  Just keeping L. away from ornaments was a full time job, and only the top two thirds of the tree are actually decorated.  

Guess who has his first word?  "Ball!  Ball!"  And he's only broken one so far!!

J. didn't get the tree wired to the wall.  My parents showed up the next morning, and were admiring the tree.  Just as my mom was observing "It does lean a little to the left, though," I saw it go.  Holding L. on my hip with my left arm, I caught the falling tree with my right.  No chance for ringing or tinkling, but this tree was not having any part of standing up straight, and the tree stand was not working quite as it should.   

An hour later, using an combination of wire and Jenga blocks (yeah, don't ask.), the tree is stable again.  And thanks to an idea I found either via Family Fun or Pinterest (can't remember which one at this point, we'll always remember the tree that almost fell down.  

If your family is of the "real tree" variety, you can check out the instructions for creating your own keepsake ornament from a cross section of your tree here.  It's not too late to do so -- you can always cut a slice off when you throw it out.  I decided to decorate ours using another idea from Pinterest, a thumbprint string of lights.  Not sure if mine ended up looking like lights, but it's colorful and festive anyhow.

Up next week: my semi-successful ornament wreath project!

I'm a little late on my Real Women of Pinterest post this week, but I'd love it if you'd link up your own projects.  Bloggers, link to your site below.  Other readers, send me your photos and I'll share, or just tell us about it in the comments!


Tricia @ Take 10 With Tricia said...

I LOVE your tree trunk ornament. I may have to do that when I take ours down. I saw it on Pinterest, but forgot all about it. And I think the lights look like...lights! I will say that my thumbprint crafts have been much more difficult than the full handprint crafts. Sounds crazy, but true. I think because those thumbs are just so little and tough to position, etc. Enjoyed your post and your comment on Take 10.

CaraBee said...

We have two cats, in addition to an inquisitive four year old, so virtually all of our ornaments are of the shatterproof variety. Which means that we don't have much in the way of the beautiful blown glass ones, but I don't have to worry about broken glass and little paws or feet walking on it.

Your tree trunk ornament makes me want a real tree so bad! I grew up with them but my husband is against them. Some bs argument about cutting down trees. Whatever. I want my piney smell! You just can't beat a real tree. Sigh, picking my battles though.

mep said...

I totally missed this post last week. I was in a haze of cleaning and organizing for a holiday gathering for T's family. I love, love, love the new ornament ball display. And the tree trunk light ornament. Delightful.

Heather said...

I somehow missed this post, too! LOVE the tree trunk ornament; reminds me of my dad, who saved every single real tree cutting with the year on it out in our old garage. Making it into an ornament is a much better way to preserve that memory!

Nice save on the tree, btw. I can just picture it!