Friday, December 22, 2017

The Kicks Were Charging By The Tree With Care...

So you know you're celebrating a Modern Christmas when your Grand-Daughter's Light-Up Kicks are Charging by the Tree and the Charger is built into the side of your Sectional Recliner!  *LMAO*  I had asked The Man, why are Princess T's Tennis Shoes on the arm of the Sectional?  He says, because they're Charging... sometimes these types of exchanges seem rather Surreal, given that I never remember plugging in Shoes when we or our Children were growing up.   These do a Light Display that rivals Vegas I tell ya!  *LOL*

Of coarse in a Home where Pappi, the Taxidermy Raccoon, meets you in the Entry Hallway carrying a strand of Felt Pom-Pom Garlands, as if he's decorating the house, I suppose that what is Surreal is entirely subjective, right?  *Winks*  We're not exactly your Traditional Family and yet Tradition and Ritual are quite important to Yours Truly, especially during the Holidays.   I've found tho', as The Force gets older, they're not so enthusiastic about participation in either the Traditions or Rituals and so I often do it instead with Friends now.

A Friend and I actually spent all Night going around looking at Christmas Lights and visiting The Santa House Tour in Glendale, which we've done for years now, since that Residence has Hosted it for 24 consecutive years!   I've taken my Children and now my Grandchildren, along with numerous Friends and extended Family over the years, it has become an annual Tradition to visit this Extreme Christmas House owned by a Private Resident in a Residential Neighborhood.  It is quite Nostalgic when you've been doing anything that long, if it ever ends we'll certainly miss it.  Below are a few Images I snapped on my Camera Phone during our 2017 Tour.

There used to be a lot more Residential Homes that did Extreme Holiday Decorating like this back in the Seventies and Eighties.  It was a Clark Griswold kinda thing where Neighbors often even competed to do the biggest and the best, trying to outdo one another and get the most publicity.  Those Families completely Obsessed by Christmas and Decorating went all out and we made annual Pilgrimages to them.   Some entire Streets even participated in Extreme Christmas Decorating back in da day, like Paradise Lane in Glendale.  Alas, many over the years ceased.

A great many were tacky and very kitsch but certainly Eye catching and always a lot of Fun to go see.   But with the number of HOA's abounding now, the potential for dictating what can and cannot be done to one's own Home has stifled the Freedom of that kind of personal expression even during Holiday Celebrating.   What is appropriate Decorating for any Holiday is entirely subjective and so at the whims of those with the authority to dictate their own lack of objectivity it varies widely what you can or cannot do in an HOA environment.

So there are precious few left who do the Extreme Decorating or Home Tours, they just don't want the potential for litigation and drama from Neighbors who are not enthusiastic about those that go all out at Christmas in a flashy way.  Many that continued the practice have had their day in Court and battled for their right to decorate their Homes and express their way of Celebrating the Holiday and Sharing it with others freely.  

  It does draw crowds and additional traffic and noise, so I'm not without sympathy for how inconvenient it could become with so many visitors flocking to see such a Show in a Residential setting. Especially since it's Free, tho' you are free to donate to defer the expense of putting on a Community Show... it is a Labor of Love and a Gift to the Community it is in.  Some of these folks spend most of the year preparing and considerable expense tied up in props and electricity.

The ones that open up their Homes to the Public and do the Interior Tours and Exterior Show are really Sacrificing to give Joy to Joe Public.  Most rooms of the Home are transformed during the entire Holiday Season and are rendered not all that functional to the Host Family.  I couldn't even imagine having the Public just walking thru our Home for hours every day, especially during the hectic Holiday Season!

Many of these Homes have so much to accomplish to ready their Extreme Christmas for viewing that they begin in the Extreme Heat of an Arizona Summer!   The Cost too for the Host Family can be quite prohibitive since what is tied up in their Seasonal Inventory can be just as Extreme, tho' many profess they Source it year round and look for bargains and donations to The Cause.

At The Santa House in Glendale my Favorite Props would have to be the Giant Nutcrackers that look like something from a Commercial Display at a Mall... perhaps they even were?   The Variety of Christmas Trees this Host has is quite impressive too, the Specialty Trees abound and he adds to them every year.  A conservative guess would be he has in excess of Fifty Trees, probably more... it's like a Christmas Tree Forrest and gives it that Enchanting Feeling of being in some Fantasy Forrest!

My own Family and Friends feels that I am an Extreme Decorator and the Holidays just amplify my Passion for excess.  *Winks*  One good Lifelong Friend sent me a Christmas Card and jokingly he asked if I would have room for it?  *LMAO*   BTW Mike, Yes, I found a spot... so your Card is on Display at Villa Boheme' and sorry I missed your call last Night while I was on the Light Tour with my BFF.  I'm sure you Shared many a Wild and Crazy Blast from the Past possibly incriminating Story with The Man.  *Winks*   That's the best part of Lifelong Friends, the History Shared and the Memories Shared over a span of numerous years.

As you get Older those escapades of Youth with Lifelong Friends grows all the Sweeter really.   If you're very Nostalgic reminiscing can be a Gift unto itself when you get together with Old Friends and Family, swapping Stories.   We are a Family of Great Storytelling and I really miss the Storytelling of our Elders who have now passed on, but their Stories can be retold by subsequent generations so that the Stories live on.  

My Grandchildren Love to hear the Stories of their Great-Nanna and Great-Grand-Dad, as much as their Mom and Uncle did before them, so I often tell them the best of the Stories that Mom and Dad told us.  Or even the ones my Nanna, Mom's Mom, told me from her Generation.  She was an exemplary Storyteller and having worked in the Theater and Stage as an Actress, Singer and Dancer, she brought Stories to Life with her considerable abilities and Talent!   My Nanna was quite a Character who Loved to Entertain and I Loved that about her!

As the Shops now dump their Inventory with deep Discounts and Sales, I've been hitting various ones to Score some of the Seasonal Decor marked down to as much as 80% already!   I Scored this thick lined Burlap and Red Pom-Pom edged Christmas Tree Skirt for 75% Off... this is the Online Image since I won't be using it until next Christmas.

And I Scored the very last one of these Retro looking Santa Tabletop Centerpieces that is Glitterized, also for 75% Off.  He's being displayed on our Harvest Table in the informal Dining Room and is plastic, just like the Old Blow Molds of the Past that resembled him.  I do have some Vintage Blow Molds that I haven't Sold Off and display them tastefully Outside.  But they do Sell well and for a lot so I've only kept a few from my Collection, a couple Santa Heads to hang from the Upstairs Balconies and a Praying Angel for a Downstairs Windowsill.  

         We don't decorate the exterior of our Home so much now that we live in an HOA Community, don't need potential Drama during the Holidays so avoid risking any from an Uptight HOA Board that might lose their shit if I went Christmas Extreme OUTSIDE or got complaints.  *LOL*   Could you only Imagine if I had Pimped Out Taxidermy on the Front Lawn in Luxury Subdivision Hell!?!   The most Pretentious of Neighbors would be shitting Kittens and totally Losing It!!!    I'd be the Roseanne Show version of a Family in my subdivision!  *Bwahahahaha!*

And speaking of my Taste levels, or lack thereof, I bought myself a new Winter Poncho Wrap on Sale at Cracker Barrel, in Camel colored Fabric with Leopard Collar, Pocket Cuffs and Pom-Poms.  I just Love it and feel it looks Elegant and Fashionable... The G-Kid Force were horrified and Hate it!  *LMAO*  They have teased me mercilessly about said ensemble and really didn't wanna go out in Public with me wearing it.   And me mercilessly reveling in Embarrassing them at every opportunity wear it all the time now!!!  *Smiles*  The Fashionista of coarse had her critique about Ponchos in general... like, of coarse you got it on Sale Gramma, coz Who wears that?!??!?!?  *LOL*

And of coarse The Young Prince had his unfiltered harsh Queer Eye Fashion Review, because if you want an absolutely hysterical Fashion Critique, ask a Fabulous Gay Guy, he'll tell ya straight up!  *Bwahahahaha!*   He thought it to be hideous of coarse, but he was hysterical in the unvarnished Critique he gave me about it and I almost peed my pants laughing at his intentionally Comedic Deadpan Fashion Review of me in it.  He scrutinizes me in said Ensemble and says, "What's the worst Fashion Statement you've ever worn Gramma?"  I replied that back when I was a Child my Mom used to dress me in tight Cardigan Sweaters and I had to wear Bangs.  He dryly replied, "And here you are NOW with Dreads and a Poncho!... And look, they even put the Leopard's Balls on strings to wear around your Neck, how Classy!!!"   *Bwahahaha... I don't care Who you are, that's Funny shit!!  They Need him on the Red Carpet if they want a Laugh a Minute!*  I guess when you're over 60 what you deem Elegant and Stylish is a Joke to your Grandkids?  *Winks* 

Of coarse I have always marched to the beat of a different drummer when it came to Fashion, Styling or Decorating, so it bothers me not what anyone actually thinks about what I Love.   I do me and they're totally used to it so the Teasing is all done in Good Humor.  Most of the time they roll with it and their aversion to Ponchos with Leopard's Balls dangling from it were short lived... their take is, if she likes that shit, whatever... it's Gramma Dawn after all!  *Winks*   The Man always has No Comment... NOTHING Surprises him that I might wear or Decorate with anymore or what anyone might say about it.  *Smiles*

Actually The Man is very progressive about Style, Fashion and Decorating... he'll roll with any of it and rarely even raise an Eyebrow.   There is no Shame in his Game either, we Live as WE Please and don't really care what anyone else thinks or says about it.  I Believe everyone should Live out their Lives that way actually, do YOU authentically and Joyfully with Confidence, you are OOAK so you don't have to be part of a herd mentality if you don't wanna be.

The formal Dining Room always has a Glow about it, that Room's Natural Light is just Warm and Cocoon like.  I'm Enjoying the Swag Rag Garland draped on the Mantle in there at Night.   I might even keep it up past Christmas since it's not necessarily obviously Holiday Decor Fabrics that were used in the Creation of it.   I like using Fairie Lights year round in some rooms for soft ambient Evening lighting... gives an Ethereal quality to a room.

This year we haven't kept most of our Christmas Cards hung up around the Fireplace because for some reason the Washi Tape isn't holding well on many of them.  I'm tired of re-hanging them up constantly when some keep falling down, previous couple of years the Washi Tape worked very well, so I have no idea why this year it's not?   Every tiny vibration sends Cards cascading to the floor!  *LOL*

This year the Christmas Altar was kept very Simple. Some years I have done elaborate Christmas Altars, but this year was not one of them.   I don't know Why, but this Christmas just seemed to be one where I was much more laid back about everything and in a Good way, it's been Enjoyable.   I have been working towards Simplifying Life and Enjoying Simple Pleasures more, it will be a continued Goal throughout 2018.

So with Princess T's Cool Kicks Charging beside the Tree I happened to also notice Tags turned around and bags askew.  The Young Prince confided that he even knew what one of his pressies was... since his Little Sister had been on Present Recon Patrol after everyone went to Bed and opened one of HIS Presents!  She couldn't wait to tell him what it was, it was in a Tin and I hadn't taped the lid shut, silly me, and we already know what a snoop she is!  *LOL*   He asked me not to mention it to her, we all thought it was Funny actually... and it is... she's been quivering with Excitement about the Gifts under the Tree!

Since I Work Christmas Eve Afternoon from 1-5 at the Antique Mall... and since her Brother is often invited to his Paternal Relatives Homes for Christmas, she's been dogging me to see if we can just open Gifts earlier?  *LOL*   I don't wanna open my Gifts without my Brother here Gramma was her Case... it's a valid one... and she doesn't wanna wait 'til he gets Home from his Dad's either to open pressies together.   So, we'll see... it's not like at our Age we're sticklers on opening the Gifts on any specific day anyway.   When you're Raising Grandkids you often Share them with extended Family on Holidays and Special Occasions, so we aren't Traditional in our Holiday Celebrating Schedules at all, we're fluid and adaptable.

I'll probably also take her to go look at Christmas Lights Tonight, since she was too Sick to join my Friend and I Yesterday Night and it was the last day of School before Winter Break so she lingered with Friends at the Park.   I think she's coming down with something, Poor Kid has serious Respiratory Issues and all her Life the Wintertime has been a precarious Health time of year for her.  I don't remember too many Christmases she hasn't come down with something actually and spent most of her Winter Break not feeling very Well.  She's gotten stronger as she's gotten older but she still has significant Health Issues we Deal with all of the time.

It's been such a hectic year Healthwise for them all, that honestly I couldn't even recall which immunizations I'd had given to the Crew here... so I'll have to check with our Docs to see if any of them actually got the Flu Shot along with all their other shots they got?   We've had good and bad associated with the Flu Shot regimen anyway so I'm very conflicted about getting it every year... we've had some serious complications from Flu Shot vaccines in previous years, so it's always a crap shoot IMO on whether it's even riskier than NOT getting it?

The Weather changes also make a huge difference, the Desert can be brutally Cold in the Evenings come Winter and go from very Hot during the Daytime, to below freezing by Nightfall!   A Desert Environment is a very harsh and Extreme Environment actually, everything that lives here has to learn to be tough and endure the vast temperature Extremes that can happen on any given day, especially during the Winter Months.

Now we've entered the Zone where the Night time temps are below freezing on some Nights and yet the days can be either Cold or very Warm, it fluctuates Wildly from day to day actually.   I think people get Sick when temps fluctuate Wildly like that, the body just doesn't know how to regulate when there is no Constant?!?   The only Constant right now is the inconsistency in temperatures from day to day and even during a single day!  *LOL*  I tend to layer, so that I can take layers off or put them back on as Needed.  So it's not unusual for me to wear a Tank Top with another Shirt layered on top and then my trusty new Poncho Wrap!  *Winks*

That gives me three layers of clothing to alter my body temperature with depending on how the day progresses.  So I'm taking clothing off and putting it back on like a Model during backstage at Fashion Week!  *Ha ha ha ha ha*  I try to get Princess T and The Young Prince to do the same, but being Kiddos, they're gonna do what they're gonna do when they're not within Eyesight, right?  *LOL*   I think Kids run at a different temperature than Adults and especially Seniors... so I don't try to make them wear a Coat just because I'm Cold or take something off because I'm Hot.  *Winks*

She is actually Stalking me right now, eager to get to our Antique Mall to put some Christmas Inventory of Cool Toys into the Showroom and be taken out for Brunch!  *Smiles*   I Scored some large F.A.O. Schwarz Plush Animals for the Showroom since Vintage Toys Sell Well and especially around this time of the year.  I know there are many last minute Shoppers who haven't finished up their Christmas Shopping yet.  I know many of the Shops are Sold Out of the Good Stuff already and so the Savvy Shopper will hit the more Unique Venues that might still have some of the Good Stuff in stock!

I have an F.A.O. Schwarz Lion, Elephant, Seal and Camel... plus a couple of Horses that look like Breyer Horses but I'm not entirely sure so I've priced them accordingly as an Unknown.  The Breyer Horse Enthusiasts will recognize them for what they are, either Breyer or something else so I'll leave that up to the Savvy Collector... if they are Breyer they'll get a smokin' Deal on 'em!  *Winks*  I also Scored an ENORMOUS Melissa Doug Reindeer, but we're Keeping him... couldn't Believe how much those Retail for and I got him for four bucks so BOOYAH! 

 He's hanging out in the Living Room and has poseable everything, I may try to find a Wreath to hang around his Neck and some Shatterproof Ornaments for his Antlers.  I'm fresh out of Pom-Pom Garlands to festoon him with... ha ha ha...   The Man said he was getting his Gun when I dragged this one in the front door... his Hunting Instincts kicked into High Gear... NOOOOO, you cannot use my Plush Reindeer for target practice Honey... LOL...

Here's the F.A.O. Schwarz Plush Animals, they are Adorable and I was Surprised that Princess T only confiscated the Temperpedic Teddy Bear I'd Scored and intended to Sell Off.  *LOL*   I didn't even know the Mattress Firm made Teddy Bears out of their materials, but they do, and they Sell for quite a bit and are Temperpedic Pillow and Mattress Soft, so Perfect for her to sleep with.  He's a White Polar Bear and mid-sized, so he'll be cuddling up with her now each night.

I am trying to knock this Post out quickly so we can leave, since I'm still sitting here in my Jammies and it's past Noon and Princess T is seething and chomping at the bit that she hasn't gotten me out the door yet!  *LOL*   So, without further ado, I'll just regale you with the last few Images without Words and a Salutation my Friends, times a wastin' and I've got much to do Today... as I'm sure you all do too?!?!?!  Merry Christmas!!!


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

1 comment:

  1. Love how you've decorated, Dawn! Especially the mantle with the mannequins and stockings. . .This year we've only got a tree up (decorated at least), it seems that time just got away from us. I'm still thinking about decorating AFTER Christmas Day. It's still the "season", right? Merry Christmas to you, Dawn!


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl