Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hi all,

Still alive. Actually, I'm doing well compared to last time we chatted.

Thanks to everyone who sent their well wishes my way lately. Dad just installed the internet in my room. It's a really long cable that goes all the way from the router, through the walls, under the floor and up into my room. This may or may not lead to regular blogging. I'm not going to put that pressure on myself just yet. I have the most ridiculous amount of catching up to do with paperwork and such like that.

(yes, I copy/pasted that from my other blog. It just means that I thought it important enough to say twice)

I have a favour to ask. I have a friend coming to stay with us for Christmas. She's lovely and from Japan. I want to make it a very Western Christmas, but I have two problems which you can help me solve. First. I've never had an ideal Christmas. Holidays are just not something we do in our house. Sure, we have feasts and get together and exchange presents. We don't need much excuse for that. But we don't decorate or stuff like that. Second. Well, there are financial limitations which mean that I cannot go in for the kind of holidays that the TV adds tell me I should. I want to have a home made Christmas. I need advice as to how to do this. I'm knitting stockings for us all and have a grand fir marked out for cutting down on Christmas eve. I've ordered the ham. I've made mincemeat that I can eat (and it's so yummy!), but I haven't found a plumb pudding recipe that I can modify successfully yet.

What I would like to know is what else can I do for Christmas? How can I decorate the tree without buying anything comercial? I was going to string popcorn. What else can I do with the tree? For that matter, how do I stop the tree from drying out and dropping all the needles? I want to keep it up for the twelve nights. What do you do for Christmas/winter holidays?


Josiane said...

Oh! I'm happy to know you're doing better!
Sounds like you're in for a loveley Christmas time. I was going to suggest stringing popcorn, you have it on your list already. What about knitting some Christmas ornaments? Mini stockings, mini sweaters, snowflakes, etc. - it'd be lovely in your tree! Then your friend could keep one as a souvenir. Another idea: a friend of mine had a holiday tradition of baking and decorating cookies that were then hung in the tree and eaten while exchanging gifts. As for keeping the tree from drying, we used to keep ours in a tree stand in which we could put water (while decorating, keep in mind you'll need a spot where it'd be easy to go and fill up the stand any time the water level gets low).
That's all I can think of right now. I hope it helps! If anything else comes to mind, I'll let you know.

Natalie said...

Yay!!!! So good to hear from you.

Popcorn + cranberries (alternate stringing them) are extra festive and look awesome. Any red sort of thing to alternate with the popcorn would probably have the same effect.

If you can spend money on ONE non-handmade thing: Christmas lights. Here it's $10-15 for a long string of them and they add a LOT of ambiance. :) If that's too commercial I would make/buy some pretty candles to put around...all in the interest of that lovely holiday "glow" feeling.
(you could also handmake strings of LEDs but I suspect that would cost more than the pre-made ones).

Great idea on making ornaments, too.

For me what really made Christmas/whatever holiday was hanging out making things, either presents for people or food in a warm kitchen. We didn't have all that many traditions that persisted year to year but it was usually pretty good because of that simple thing. I wouldn't stress too much about making it "perfect," it's supposed to be fun and cozy and sweet however it's thrown together. :)

Natalie said...

Other idea: hang colorful strands of yarn in the tree.

Brenda said...

Glad you're feeling better Raven, it was great to see you in Duncan last month.

Do you crochet? If so you could do some snowflakes for the tree. I did a bunch several years back and they look great. And crochet thread is cheap too.

Mary's Sharing Space said...

Pop popcorn (not microwave) string it and hang on the tree. Handmade ornaments, paper cut into shapes and covered with glue and then spices that remind you of Christmas (i.e. pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, etc). Lights for the tree can be purchased from Big Lots fairly cheaply, check them out. Have a great time.

Natalie Freed said...

Thought you might like this yarn pinecone ornament: