Whose Birthday is it Anyway?

Let’s be honest here, okay? There are some pretty tacky ways families can “deck the halls” now, and a brief foray into a few new stores showed me just how much I’ve been missing.

Take Christmas trees, for example. Way back when, people decorated with strings of popcorn or construction paper link chains made by their kids. My aunt had bubbling ornaments. My grandma had an aluminum tree with a rotating primary color wheel. Most folks used orb-shaped ornaments, lights, and a star or angel to trim their trees, along with a skirt (to hide the stand). But today’s options are many. If you’re a University of Illinois fan, for instance, you can decorate your entire tree in Illini motif:

Illini Christmas tree

Illini Christmas tree

Does anybody but the most loyal alum really want to combine their holidays with their college loyalties?? Maybe there’s always room for another tree in one’s house?

Lots of folks today are conscious of the environment and likely gravitate to baby owls. Something like these little cuties:

Baby owls on tree

Baby owls on tree

For some reason, they remind me of white cotton balls.

Then there are those who like blow-up characters, whether created by Disney or Lucas. How about a nice Yoda for your front porch steps:

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by size, do you?

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by size, do you?”

Gotta love the Santa hat, designed so even a Jedi master can keep with the festivities!

Or perhaps you’d like to warn the carolers away. In that case, someone from the Dark Side will suffice:

Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Can’t you just hear him breathing and stating, “You underestimate the power of the Dark Side”?

Home improvement stores provide a wealth of opportunity for finding just the right “ornament” for your yard this season. Maybe you’re looking for a jolly bunch of snowmen or Santas like these guys:

Snow critters

Snow critters

Or perhaps nothing will do but an immense angry-faced Snoopy riding a motorcycle:

Biker Snoopy

Biker Snoopy

A part of me finds it sad that commercialism is so rampant. I must’ve been in the wrong stores, for there wasn’t a Nativity scene in sight.

No Manger. No Baby Jesus.

Gee, it’s His Birthday we’re celebrating, isn’t it??

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14 thoughts on “Whose Birthday is it Anyway?

  1. There is some tacky stuff out there, that is for sure! My Mom decorated our tree in lights and toy ornaments along with the occasional decoration made by me…she was not all that sentimental, tho and my talent in that department wasn’t stellar. I do remember the chain, tho. My mom gave me the ornaments when they downsized to a chili tree (very cute) and we used them until our tree crashed and Cole and I decided to pretty much start fresh. We decorate with birds, glass icicles, apples, and lots of lights with the occasional do dad thrown in. We’ve never been big Disney fans (beyond Poo) and Star Wars just doesn’t say Christmas to me. We do have a Naivety set –two. One that is my Great Grandmothers and every animal and angel has a chip or is missing a limb but I can’t bare to part with it. The other is a small Mexican Naivety set that Joe’s sister gave him…it is very dear to the heart.
    I do get a kick out of tacky trees tho…..just not in my house :-D

    • My mom has her mom’s old Nativity set, and I know what you mean about the pieces being chipped and broken. It’s an heirloom, though, so no way would we part with it!
      We’ve been into artificial trees for several years now. Much friendlier on my allergies, ha! For some reason (dare I say good training??), Darling Dallas never messes with ANY of it. Your tree sounds pretty (especially the icicles!) Did you get your comment section fixed on your blog? I’m having the *worst* luck getting my points made properly!

  2. I got a laugh out of this, but yes, it is sad in a way. We have a snowman and a couple of lighted reindeer out front. Inside, our tree has an assortment of unrelated ornaments (I guess our theme is chaos!) My parents started getting my brother and I an ornament for Christmas each year when I was in high school. They stopped it several years ago, but we decided it was fun, so we buy our kids an ornament every year to signify their interests that year. This year, I got my older son this really awesome guitar ornament that comes with a hard guitar case with latches. My younger son is getting a boy soccer player because he played soccer for the first time in the fall and absolutely loved it.

    I drive by a house that covered their street-facing fence with this message in lights: “Happy Birthday Jesus” – it’s great. It’s kind of a busy road, but one of these days, I hope to get a photo.

    I’m going to try to catch up on reading and comments this weekend but will not be online much next week…if I don’t stop by before then, have a wonder Christmas!

  3. Your tree sounds like the ones we had when Domer was growing up. Every year, I’d pick out a special ornament, something that had particular significance, for him, and then I’d let him hang it. Made for a good tradition, but kind of a mismatched Christmas tree! But you know, that kind of tradition has meaning. I’ve saved all those years of ornaments and one day, Domer will have the “honor” of decorating his own tree with them! Happy Christmas to you, Janna. I can’t promise I won’t be posting this week (after all, I’m still trying to meet my 2013 resolution of blogging twice a week, and I fear I just might be behind!)

  4. Don’t forget – there are a lot of people who not only don’t profess Christian faith, they’re opposed to what Christians stand for. They don’t give a flip about the reason for the season. Still, even though they don’t want a manger, they want to throw a party. So – bring on the inflatable snowmen!

    And that’s fine with me. What I don’t understand are the people who are continually offended by Christmas celebrations. It’s just a mystery. I’m not Jewish, but I don’t get offended when Chanukah rolls around. They could stick a Menorah in the town square for all I care – it’s someone’s tradition, it’s interesting, let’s party!

    I did see Katie Pavlich post the most wonderful tweet tonight. She said, “Many in America are suffering “offendluenza,” aka being offended all the time over people’s personal opinions”. Ain’t it the truth.

    Me? I’m going to bake cookies and listen to carols and have a fine time. ;)

    • Baking cookies while listening to carols sounds like a fine time, Linda.

      I do appreciate what you’re saying. I don’t see how this country — founded on principles of tolerance and appreciation — could find itself so polarized over the many ways we’re different. I’m not Jewish, yet I embrace that faith’s right to celebrate as they see fit. I’m not Hispanic, but if they want to celebrate in Spanish, again, fine by me. What hurts is when each group — instead of looking for their similarities — zeroes in on their differences AND immediately assumes everyone else is *wrong*. Many “teachable moments” vanish when everybody stubbornly clings to their own way while refusing to let others have their own way!

      Happy Christmas to you!

  5. I love the owl tree, and would definitely go with the Star Wars tree … if my wife would even come close to allowing it. :)

    And speaking of color wheels, we had one when I was a kid. It was amazingly hot. Surprised it never burned the house down.

    • I never actually touched the color wheel, but I found myself mesmerized by the changing colors. I don’t guess a real green tree would have reflected the changing colors the way Grandma’s aluminum one did.
      You like the owl tree? Well, yes, they really were cute. Hate to think what my dog would do with them, though, ha!

  6. I never really liked those blow-up things on front yards. Seems too easy and too tacky. Now a few thousand lights strung meticulously…that I like! I remember the color wheel tree..so it can’t be THAT old. :)

    • I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one remembering the color wheel! Any of that old stuff I hate to mention for fear people will think I’m ancient, ha!
      You’re right about the lights — the more, the better. Our neighbor here has every bush, every tree loaded with lights, and it really looks festive. No inflatables in sight, thank goodness!

  7. Maybe, maybe not. As you know, retailers make half of their annual income this time of year, so for better or worse, commercialism runs rampant and will do so for years to come–unless some miracle happens and everyone comes to their senses. What are the chances?

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