Tag Archives: Holidays

Merry…New Year? Or shall we call this the post of Christmas past?

I started a reading plan called Rediscovering the Christmas Season on YouVersion just a couple days after Thanksgiving and, as I write this post on the day after Christmas, am several days behind. Since the blog post right before this one hails from around Halloween, it’s obviously not just my reading that needs a little catch up. Whew, December 26th – how’d that suddenly get here?

Life has been busy again for sure and there’s also been random cases of the ick, like having pinkeye for the first time a wee while ago and the head cold that still clings to me like that little green guy in the Mucinex commercials. [Side note and minor gripe: Mucinex did not make my little green guy go away at all – overpriced sugar pills as far as I could tell].

Part of my busyness included putting up a tree of course and, since it’s both time to bid the Halloween post farewell and I can breath out of my nose today, it’s time to do a little updating.

Step one in decorating our condo for Christmas usually involves opening a big blue tote that contains the lights and other necessities. These items are usually thoroughly inspected by the cats before I actually have a chance to take much out of that tote.

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One of our cats, Chloe, checks the tote sides for…shiny things maybe?

We have one of those some-assembly-required Christmas trees with the colored pegs on each branch and it rests in the living room closet for most of the year. That being the case, it’s not much to behold when I’ve first taken it out of the box and done the basic connect the dots (er, branches).

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Chloe already has her eye on the empty box in this photo and you can probably spot Joey’s black and white head just over the table. He mainly watched in confusion and curiosity during the tree assembly process.

Before any actual decorating takes place, the tree also gets a cat inspection to test it for stability. Actually, it gets another inspection after decoration is complete (and this is why we don’t own any glass or otherwise breakable ornaments).

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Chloe, this year’s primary inspector, can be seen still hard at work at the bottom of the completed tree in this last photo.

I did manage to get at least one photo sans cat…

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Our tree has perhaps a bit more unusual dressing than most. Oh, we have lights and bits of garland of course. But there’s the bear wearing a red sweater and green bow tie that always plays the part of our angel/tree topper. There’s also giant snowflakes, a fairy that one of the cat’s chewed the hand off of, a frog wearing a Santa hat, and a couple more sentimental wonders to behold like this…

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This “ornament” was actually a Christmas present from one of my nephews many years ago. The wrapping paper tube is open on one end – inside it are rolled up drawings they made with a marker (shown below with the help of a few magnets)…

 

It’s just a reindeer and an angel on simple piece of paper but I still dig it more than anything from the shelves of Target or Walmart. And since that same nephew is now in college, the drawing and its little tube packaging now serve the purpose of Christmas memories as well as decoration.

On the topic of paper nostalgia, I’m also one of those people that keeps just about every Christmas card that Mr. Postman brings me. I love looking back and reading the messages, quick scribbles of names, and paw prints (yes, in some). Some cards are the funny, some are gushy, and some are from family members that are no longer on this earth. One thing I did this year was make a card bench – I’m not sure what else to call it – next to our tree with some of the cards from my collection. It seemed like a brilliant idea to stand the cards up and display them on a lovely red tablecloth – but again we own cats so the whole standing up thing didn’t last long. I ended up laying them down to avoid having to pick them back up every 10 minutes.

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See the three cards in the front? Yeah, that’s pretty much how they all had to be displayed to avoid the terror of Chloe.

So that was part of the Christmas preparations in our humble abode. Since Christmas is now passed and we’re steadily racing toward New Year’s, time for me to go catch up more on that reading plan!

Many wishes to all for a wonderful remainder of 2016 and a holiday season that is…

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Our Cat Has Decided We Should Have a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

As Christmas relentlessly draws near, I can say with great certainty that there will not be a chapter snippet post for Once Upon a Time this Sunday. For as the date comes ever closer, my feeling of preparedness grows ever more nonexistent. There’s a great deal of baking and gift wrapping to roll up my sleeves for and I haven’t started one lick of it. But before all that merry work begins, it would be downright wrong not to have a Christmas-related post!

Insert the five-foot artificial tree that resides in our attic 11 months out of the year and our adorable, tree-loving cat.

There's an ornament I haven't tried to get yet!

Hey, there’s an ornament I haven’t tried to get yet! Come here, my pretty!

Gizmo joined our family back in June due to an unexpected litter of my brother’s cat and promises made by said brother that the cute ball of fur he held up to me would end up being fed to the snakes if I didn’t take her home. I don’t think the kitten would have actually become snake food but since we already have two other cats, there’s a part of me that figured “Hey, what’s one more?” (As a bit of a side note to that, my husband has made more than one comment about me becoming a crazy cat lady if we acquire any more cat daughters and so three is probably a good number to cap things off at).

When we first brought her home, Gizmo did all the adorable things that kittens are wont to do, including falling asleep in your lap…

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Denim jeans are SOOOOO cozy! Zzzzzz Zzzzzzzz

and bravely defending the house from zombies – well, plush ones with pull-apart Velcro head, arms, and legs anyway.

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Gizmo vs Plush Zombie – Round One, Fight!!

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Gizmo vs Plush Zombie – Round Two, Fight!!
Pretty much same result at Round One. Poor zombie.

Now, neither of our other two cats have ever taken an avid interest in the Christmas tree. But you see, Gizmo is not your ordinary hyperactive ball of fur. Oh no, no. Gizmo is also a SQUIRREL CAT. Exhibit A is her very squirrel-like tail:

It may be attached to a cat but trust me, it's a squirrel tail in disguise.

It may be attached to a cat but it’s a squirrel tail in disguise.

Exhibit B is that she has actually been spotted chasing squirrels in the trees during the times we let her outside. Not to chase down and eat them as one would think her predator instincts should compel her, but to PLAY! Exhibit C could be that my doomed attempt to have a lovely Christmas tree set up in our living room has gone from this:

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CHRISTMAS TREE PRE-GIZMO.
Actually this is the tree after I set it back up the first or second time after it lost the battle. Like the zombie, it stood no chance.

To this:

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CHRISTMAS TREE POST-GIZMO.
Not quite sure how she managed to actually pull out one of the branches.

And this:

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CHRISTMAS TREE POST-GIZMO TWO.
Okay I got it, next year no ornaments that resemble any kind of animal allowed on the tree. Definitely no stuffed bears as the tree topper.

Annnd this:

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CHRISTMAS TREE POST-GIZMO THREE.
Oh look honey, it’s a Leaning Tower of Pisa Christmas tree!

Now just so you know, there were reprimands involving water guns and such for the little darling’s re-decorating. But I couldn’t NOT capture the moment and take a few pictures before yelling at her. Maybe I’m a bad cat mommy. But how could I resist? Look at that absolutely adorable mischievous face!

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This was more of a random post than most but a bit seasonal nonetheless. I have little hope of our Christmas tree surviving to the official demolition day I’ve set (the day after New Year’s). At least that will be one less trip up the attic stairs this year.  I’m also thinking that one of those “cat trees” would be an appropriate gift to ask my brother (a carpenter) to make for me. Then again, if Gizmo were human, she would have certainly deserved a very hefty lump of coal.

Whether you’re ready for Christmas to be here or not, here’s hoping this time of year finds you with more peace than stress (even if you come home to a sidewise tree in your living room). Remember we’re celebrating the birth of an amazing baby boy – which, admittedly, decorated trees and blinking lights don’t necessarily go hand in hand with (probably the reason I was more amused than angry with Gizmo’s tree infatuation). And if nothing else, the holidays are known for lots of good eating, so remember to take a moment and grab a festive snack!

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Mmmm, plastic holly – nom, nom, nom!

Merrrrrry Christmas Everyone!

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