I realized as I left my house this morning that my Christmas decorations say a lot about me. Then I thought that Christmas decorations, in general, must be a pretty accurate reflection of the decorator. They represent your tastes - good and bad, your creativity and resourcefulness, your willingness to pay for something fleeting and superfluous, and your spatial reasoning skills. Christmastime gives us so much, including, as of today, the opportunity for a foolproof personality assessment. Keep reading to find out what these totally-normal-and-not-ridiculous holiday trimmings say about the people who have them decking their halls (that would be me).
An over-the-top wreath that is too large for your door and also hung on the door with a bent wire clothes hanger:
To top it off you tried to hide the fact that you made your own wreath infrastructure but just bending a wire clothes hanger by tying a golden bow around it. No one will ever notice. Some people would call the wire clothes ha...
The greatest gift ever has entered my life. Friends, let me introduce you to the most intelligently written and thought-provoking book I have ever had the good fortune to hold between my hands: New Trends in Table Settings... and Period Designs, Too by the one-and-only Mrs. Lucy Staley.
Tony, my dear friend and colleague (and co-collaborator on a soon-to-be YouTube runaway hit - we haven't started this yet. Details are forthcoming), gave me this book after he spotted it in his local library's "no one is checking this book out, we might as well sell it for 50 cents" pile. He said he immediately thought of me, which I can only take as a giant compliment. I would like to share with you some of the inspired - and inspiring - table settings that Mrs. Staley has dreamed up specifically for this book, and I would like to share with you some of the turns of phrase that I found particularly touching.
"When little Jane arranges her miniature dishes on a low table, pours out ma...
On the Sunday after Christmas, I decided it was high time to make a gingerbread house.
I know what you are thinking. "The Sunday AFTER Christmas?" Yes, the Sunday after Christmas. I know gingerbread houses are primarily used as gaudy holiday decor, but the fact of the matter is that gingerbread houses are delicious all year long. I say that with a lot of certainty, but the truth of the matter is that I never made a gingerbread house before this week.
Sure, growing up we made semi-edible houses using graham crackers and a pint-sized milk carton, but even as a little Baby Gay Martha, I knew that wasn't the real deal. I would not be satisfied until I was the architect of my own tiny, delicious house.
Somehow the opportunity for gingerbread construction never showed up in my life. All of high school and college passed by without the slightest suggestion of the presence of spiced building materials. I guess you can say I made bad life decisions. But I turned my life around and decide...
Ok, Christmas is totally a time for traditions, yes. I am the biggest tradition stickler out there. Growing up, my brother and I had this ornament on our Christmas Tree that we called Seek Secret. Seek Secret was a little pompom creature (maybe a bear?) that lived inside a plastic canvas yarn box. It looked more or less exactly like this. Seek Secret was the shit. He lived inside his little box all season long, and on Christmas morning we would open the box and let Seek Secret out. I would FREAK OUT when we finally got to open Seek Secret. God, that was such a freaking good tradition. Seek Secret lives on. He found a new home on my brother's tree where I am sure he is delighting my nieces with his seek secrecy.
That is all to say that I love holiday traditions. However, there is one part of my holiday fervor that I like to mix up from year to year. Every year Rachel and I choose a different theme to inspire our Christmas decorating. There are somethings that are consta...
I think we can all agree that there is nothing more special than an advent calendar (we've already been over this.). Advent calendars are the freaking shit. In fact, I think we should have advent calendars to celebrate the coming of all sorts of things. I can't believe I didn't think of that before. That's a fucking brilliant idea. I will have advent calendars to count down the days until President's Day. And Voting Day. And my birthday. You are probably saying, "Lizzie, they only sell advent calendars around Christmas," which makes you a Debbie Downer. To combat your pessimissm, I present you a printable DIY advent calendar for you to use to celebrate any holiday you can count down to.
This is pretty self-explainatory, but here are the steps:
4 sheets of beige cover-weight paper (or any color you damn well please, really)
24 wee baggies (you can buy empty tea bags anywhere that sells loose leaf tea)
So, in the winter it is harder than ever to get out of bed. And I am known around our house for being particularly tricky to wake up and get going. You can't be nice to me to get me out of bed. I'll just trick you into laying back down and cuddling with me. Don't be too strict, either, or I will stay in bed just to spite you. There is a happy medium that involves Robyn or Tegan and Sara blasting from the cell phone speaker and you making coffee in the next room and promising kisses in the kitchen.
But for 25 days in December, all that changes. Because advent calendars give us a reason to live - a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
I really only discovered the joy of advent calendars when I was living in France. My host family in La Rochelle were really into Playmobil (it's weirdly big in France?), and they got a Playmobil advent calendar. Every morning we took turns opening a box with a little doll in it and by Christmas we had created the most glorious winter park sc...