Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

And other winter festivals as appropriate to your particular circumstances. Also my birthday. Yay!
The beating of Cost of Silver into another shape has been set aside for a while in favour of Christmassy things like writing and mailing cards, visiting friends, wrapping presents, decorating, and baking cookies (in a leisurely way, since I only just finished icing the rolled cookies).

 A little early this year (that is, before Christmas Eve) we brought in the greenery.
The tree was decorated with the assistance of Tess and Rowan, so there's rather more ornaments on the lower 2/3ds than on the top, and some of them are a bit crowded.
It still looks good with the lights on - and none of them blinking, after Tess's careful examination of every bulb to make sure.
If you're wondering, yes, we are standing on the big table, which Mark's mother used to polish by walking a floor polisher up and down it.

(The box of stuff in the front is my collection of antiquities, waiting on the new position of the display case, which is waiting on us figuring out where it will go.)

And here's my cubicle at work, where Christmas gets serious. It takes a couple of days to get everything out and on the shelves, once I've cleared off the books and orders that usually occupy that space.

Each year the Times-Colonist paper (yes, Victoria's newspaper really is called the Colonist) prints a map with routes to see the best light displays, and I always resolve to go and see them, but there isn't always time.
This year Mark got me out of the house, abandoning baking and wrapping for an evening, so here are some pics to share the Christmas wattage.

Here is but one small corner of the house that really goes all out. You need to get out and walk around the yard for the full experience.
I managed to enjoy it in an entirely non-ironic fashion, and without wondering about their electric bill until later.
 I admit it, this pic is for the sake of the madly excited pine tree in the front.
Whe I was a young child, our family would drive into Vancouver for Christmas shopping, and to visit my godmother. Near her house was a family who each year put up plywood figures of a snowman family. This was a high point of Christmas shopping, to drive by the snowman family.

On the other hand, the big department stores, like Hudson's Bay and Eatons, would fill their display windows not with fashion mannequins and goods for sale, but with Christmas scenes of trains, skating rinks, Dickens-era carollers, inhabited by animatronic children and elves. I don't know if anyone still does that, devote retail display space to a non-retail purpose. Perhaps no one can afford to anymore. So it's fallen to individuals to make up the balance of animatronic skating rinks?
I have to mash potatoes in a minute, so I'll leave you with the more spiritual side of Christmas, as expressed (like the snowman family) in plywood.
Merry Christmas!


Ian Alexander Martin said...

Ah, plywood figures and department store displays. I remember The Hudson's Bay Company doing it, and Woodward's. The two being so separate, it made fora long walk, but the end result was always worth it. We would start at The Bay and then Woodward's was 2nd, as it was better (usually). The Woodward's ones are (I think) still displayed but at the Trade & Convention Centre, along with some sort of corporate sponsored tree decoration thing.

Speaking of trees, that one that's clearly going insane needs Prozac, or at least to switch to de-caffeinated coffee.

How are the ornaments in the lower 66% doing with the cat?

batgirl said...

I should have mentioned the neon signs of 1960s Vancouver too - private citizens haven't picked up that gap, which is too bad.
I'd forgotten about Woodward's - thanks for the reminder. It's nice to know the animatronic past hasn't all been consigned to the dustbin of history.

We've long had the practice of keeping breakable ornaments to the higher branches, and of choosing such skinny trees that they don't tempt an average-sized cat. I rather miss tinsel icicles, but it's have cats or have tinsel icicles, not both.

Terri-Lynne said...

Such festivity! I wish I'd come in here earlier. It always happens this way--I click on you daily, then after a while, a few days slide by...and in those days is when you post! Dang.

I hope your Christmas was Merry! And that your New Year will be grand. XXX

batgirl said...

If only I were as constant as you! But I am lazy and dilatory, or, um, spontaneous! Yeah, that's it!