So it was a bit chaotic locating, and then integrating, Christmas decor stowed in eight bazillion different locations (stuff that accompanied us to the apartment last year ended up in two places - indoors and out - and some stuff never made it out of the attic or carriage house last year), and I will admit to calling it good with a couple of big Rubbermaid totes still unopened and unexplored, but ultimately I was happy with the results. Really happy, in fact, because for the first time in seventeen years I succeeded in weaving a cohesive thread through all of the decor in all of the rooms. Sure, snowmen ended up in one cluster as they always do, angels landed in another, etc., but all of the various vignettes were tied together (as much as I am ever able to tidy anything up, with my schizo decorating personality) by:
1) Color. Red (real red - not burgundy; I have a visceral hatred of burgundy that I cannot even begin to explain), Martha green, teal and a splash of pink.
2) Santas. Vintage, folk art - I have amassed quite the collection,and I scattered those babies everywhere.
3) Blown Glass Ornies. I collect them, but I never hang them on the tree. Weird, right? But I have met my family (fur children included), and it's a safe bet that the tree is going to tip over at least once. Unless we tether it to the plant hook in the corner of the dining room, which is where we have traditionally set up the tree, but this year I decided to take advantage of a new furniture configuration (envisioned especially to afford me living room "tree real estate," but I liked the layout so much that I have decided to keep it) and move the tree to the east. As a result, I didn't have to fold down one half of the gateleg and was able to enjoy my full dining room table, and dining room - until Christmas morning, when the tree came crashing down. Let me back up a bit: on Christmas Eve, only a couple of hours before we were due to depart for church, Spouse got a wild hair to clean out the trunk of my car "to make room for gifts we're hauling to Mom's." Why did this seem like a good idea at T-minus two hours on Christmas Eve, versus - oh - some random day in September when the weather was still warm? Because this is Spouse that we're talking about. And, while he denies it, I am somewhat convinced that he tackles these projects at inappropriate times just to futz with me. Because I can't really complain, because it's stuff I have been asking him to do for, like, FOREVER, AND NOW HE IS FINALLY DOING IT. AT THE MOST INOPPORTUNE TIME IMAGINABLE. I HAD JUST GOTTEN THE HOUSE READY FOR SANTA, AND BAGS OF RANDOM JUNK START MATERIALIZING IN MY LIVING ROOM, BEGGING TO BE INTEGRATED OR AT LEAST STOWED.
Griswold Moment #1: Big Kid stepped on a nail. Yes, it happened when he was wearing shoes. Yes, he recently had a tetanus booster. Yes, he was smart enough to immediately pull up when he felt something protruding into his foot. No stitches were required - just some peroxide and bandages. But, still.
Griswold Moment #2: Big Kid locked keys in the trunk. Spouse claimed to be unable to locate his set. USAA Roadside Assistance was called. Spare keys turned up in Spouse's jacket pocket. "Never mind" calls were placed to, and acknowledged by, tow truck people and USAA. Tow truck people showed up anyway.
Griswold Moment #3: Little Kid, who was doing precious little to move Project Trunk Dump along, saw Spouse come around the corner, decided to jump into action and look busy, and dang near concussed himself when his head collided with the car door.
That was Christmas Eve. Moving on to Christmas Day:
Griswold Moment #4: Big Kid remarked that he hadn't opened as many Mom and Dad presents as Little Kid. Mom responded, "That's because you had one item that was more expensive than some of his - WAIT, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO ROCKSMITH FOR XBOX?" Children were dispatched on hard-target search for gift that, somehow, did not make it under the tree. While Mom was searching in the closet: TIIIIIIIIIIIIMBER. The sound of the not-tethered-to-the-ceiling tree making contact with the floor. Because, apparently, Little Kid shimmied underneath to inspect the haul of gifts headed to Nana's that had been pushed to the back, and when he shimmied back out, the tree was disturbed from its axis. Fortunately, he was thirty seconds and several yards clear when the tree tumped over. Only one ornament broke, but all of the branches got tangled up - let's just say that contents shifted in transit - causing Mom to have to spend the next half hour applying lipstick to the tree pig, and fighting the urge to just strip the thing of its ornaments and call it good. Adding to her frustration: the fact that the tree was decidedly listing in its stand, and could not be righted, requiring a quick relo into the dining room, where it got tethered to the ceiling hook with fishing wire, and the dining room table was hastily turned onto an angle to make room. Further adding to her frustration: her suspicion that Max Cat was laughing his little kitty tuckus off, because THE TREE CAME DOWN, AND HE WAS NOWHERE NEAR IT. (In fact, I saw him run past me, in the direction of the tree, when it first came down, and the look on his little kitty face said, "SERIOUSLY? SOMEONE ELSE KNOCKED IT DOWN THIS YEAR? PRICELESS. BWAHAHAHAHA.")
Griswold Moment #5: Mom stormed out to her car - I forget why, but it was Tree Collapse-related, or possibly Missing Xbox Game-related - and discovered that the trunk had been left open all night, and IT WAS SLEETING INTO HER TRUNK.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, the reason why the blown glass ornaments don't make it onto the tree: because we are the Griswolds.
So, this year, I clustered them in vases, and hurricanes, and large glass jars, and trifle bowls, and I distributed them all over the place.
4) Trees. Not the fall-down-go-boom kind. Folkloric felt and tinsel ones, mixed in with the Santas and other stuff, providing a little festive "scenery."
I have two of the teal felt ones. Love that they are teal, and that they match the tablecloth so well. (They should - all purchased at World Market out of the same collection, I think? But the "Merry" plate on the dining room table was an earlier purchase, and it totally goes with the other stuff.)
More images of the Griswolds' teal, teal Christmas to follow. (Elvis would be so proud. Or confused, because "teal" might not compute. Doesn't strike me as a 64-crayon box guy.)