Sunday, November 12, 2006


Some of us at work collect these Audubon stuffed birds. You press on their back and an authentic birdcall sounds. Sometimes, to relieve the monotony, one person will start it off and soon answering birdcalls come from around the room. It's rather amusing and fits in with my belief that a huge room filled with staffers is not much different from a kindergarten class except for the work being done and the naps not taken. The birds in this shot from last Christmas were decked out in holiday hats.

Which brings me to my point. I looked out the kitchen window yesterday to see workers swarming over the grounds of the assisted living center behind my house. On the grass they were setting up a life-sized Santa in his sleigh with eight not-so-tiny reindeer. Multitudes of white lights were being strung on the gazebo, stapled across the rooftops, hung from the gables, and swagging the trees. This is the beginning of the holiday display that the center puts up, a bit more elaborate each year. When it's in it's full glory and the lights are switched on every evening after Thanksgiving, I no longer have to turn on the nightlight in my kitchen to find my way around in the wee hours. It's rather like living next door to Chevy Chase in "Christmas Vacation" but at least it doesn't blow all the power in the neighborhood now that public utilities has put a new transformer in.

After reeling from the thought of Christmas decorating coming right up, I opened my door to find a package from my daughter. She sent me these glass lanterns from Gardener's Supply Company to kick-start my own holiday decorating. These are really charming, with little leaded glass window-panes. They take a votive candle at the bottom. Bearing in mind an unfortunate incident from a couple of years ago, she also sent battery-operated votives. They flicker like a real candle and aren't likely to set my wall-hung kitchen clock on fire from a candle burning too close to the plastic frame which would scorch the brick wall and send burning bits of toxic plastic floating across the kitchen. As if!

So when do you start decorating for Christmas? Thanksgiving weekend? Sooner? The night before Christmas? All I know is that soon I'll have to throw out the pumpkins and the frost-blasted chrysanthemums lining the front walk and haul out the boughs of holly.


Melissa said...

I start decorating for Christmas at Thanksgiving or sometimes a little sooner depending on how I feel that year! This year it will be Thanksgiving!
Love the lanterns!

Annie in Austin said...

Your daughter must really like you - those lanterns are gorgeous!

For a long time we used to go to a cut-it-yourself tree farm in Illinois on the first weekend in December. Once we had the tree we'd start decorating. After we had kids in college, we went for the tree right after Thanksgiving, so they could still be part of the family tradition. The tree farm closed, we moved to TX and the tree is fake, but we still start the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The Griswolds had so many older relatives staying with them for Christmas, that it's easy to imagine Chevy Chase, still stapling light strings after all these years, decorating a family-style senior village.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Sean Carter said...

Since Thanksgiving is almost here i'm pretty sure that people have already started planning and decorating....and hey if you are looking for some ideas and suggestions on Thanksgiving then just visit my Thanksgiving Blog sometime and find out all the cool stuff I've posted there....and while you're at it do share your thoughts on this wonderful occasion!!!

Zoey said...

I usually have my trees up already , but this year I am waiting until the day after Thanksgiving. I am trying to fully enjoy Turkey day before I have the Christmas light blinking.

Yesterday I was surprised to see 5 yards fully lit for Christmas. Large extensive displays. I think it's way too early for that.

Zoey said...

forgot to say how cute the little birds are at work. I like to see people enjoying their work day.

rusty in miami said...

The tradition in my family is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I do the outside light and my wife and daughters the inside xmast tree and decorations. Early in the morning we go out for breakfast and then to the local Christmas tree lot to find a tree. Friday is reserve for shopping (not me accurse)

Carol said...

I've started already last week unpacking a few of my christmas boxes lol just couldn't wait any longer *blushes* and I did some seosonal decoration on my patio, but not with Santas and OMG not live size big ones anyway EEK! Good that your neighborhood got a new transformer. That Christmas film with Chevy Chase always makes me laugh, especially the squirrel in the christmas tree lol
The little sound birds are cute and your new lanterns look fabulous! The Pickford glass house looks almost like the one I own. How very nice of your daughter to send them to you!:D Have fun placing them in your garden! I never heard of battery operated votives over here though.

Carol said...

I like to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate, but one year I did put the tree up Thanksgiving morning, then went off to my sister's for dinner. When I came home, suddenly it was the Christmas season.

I know one person who does so much decorating for Christmas that she starts decorating on Sept. 15th and follows a project plan she wrote up so nothing is forgotten. Plus she keeps an electronic inventory of the contents of over 100 boxes she has to store everything in. Now that is over the top!

LostRoses said...

Well I'm glad to see that right after Thanksgiving is pretty much everyone's target!

Carol, I bet that was surreal, going off to have Thanksgiving and coming home to Christmas! As for the person you know who starts on Sept. 15th, arrgghhh! Personally I couldn't sustain that level of enthusiasm, not to mention storing 100 boxes of Xmas stuff.

Rusty, I like your division of labor! Seems very fair, and it all gets done at once.

Zoey, why am I not surprised that you normally have your trees up by now? You have more energy for projects than anyone I know! (Blog-know, that is). But I am glad to hear that you have more than one tree. I used to do several, but now that the chicks have flown the coop, I settle for one in the living room and my special "bird" tree for the kitchen. Do you see a theme here with the birds?

Which brings me to Carol in Germany who I know also loves bird decorations. No wonder you couldn't wait to open your Xmas decorations, you have so many treasures! Can't wait to see it all as the season progresses.

Melissa, I've decided to use my new lanterns as the centerpiece on my dining room table.

Annie, oh yes, the Griswolds decorating a senior village! That's just what it looks like in our neighborhood! We also used to get a natural tree from special cutting areas in the mountains but I am a convert to fake and will never go back. My daughter is thrilled to send Xmas decorations to me because she doesn't decorate her own apartment. She comes home for the holidays every year and expects to see the house aglow!

Sean, you have a very interesting website, who knew about all the sneak previews of the day-after-Thanksgiving sales?

Salix Tree said...

I love those little birds! I have a small collection of toy and stuffed birdies, mainly the little song bird types. But not any that make a bird song!
Maybe Santa will leave me one.. tee hee!

Salix Tree said...

ps. I just looked up the Audubon website. There is a barn swallow! I absolutely love the songs of those birds, reminds me of summer, when our skies are filled with thier happy singing and twittering. Now I really MUST get one! Thanks for showing us these.

LostRoses said...

Salix, I definitely think Santa should leave you a barn swallow! Hmmm, I don't think I have one of those, come to think of it. Perhaps I should write to Santa too.

Mary said...

I enjoyed that! I refuse to decorate before the end of November or first of December. I glad to hear others feel the same.

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Love the birdie story! HeHe!