Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Tips, Part Two

Fortunately for you readers, I had yet another Sunday that resulted in even more holiday tips!  So here you go:

1)  Before you make not one, but two trips to the store to purchase tree lights, and then put them ALL on the tree, be sure and check the contents of the grocery bag that's been sitting all week in the corner with the ornaments.  You never know.
2)  Consider whether you really want flashing lights before you put the blinker bulbs on, string all 800 lights on your tree, and put up all the ornaments.  They just might be more irritating than listening to "Jingle Bells" over and over again.  It's true.
3)  When taking entire strings of lights off of the tree because, a) you can't find the one little bulb that causes the string to blink, or b) the whole string goes dead and you don't know why, it's much more satisfying to cut the darn thing off with clippers and just toss the all the pieces in the trash (after all, you have an entire grocery bag full of extra lights!)

4)  When you use clippers to cut the long strings off, be careful that you don't accidentally cut into another one that was meant to stay on the tree. 
5) When you attempt to add the new strings of lights to the already decorated tree, it's best to not have young children around, just in case a few choice words slip out.
6)  When picking up the shattered ornaments, be sure and use a broom and dustpan so as not to cut yourself.

7)  Keep that broom and dustpan handy as you admire your handiwork, just in case the dog's tail does a major sweep across the beautifully decorated tree.  Sigh...

This concludes my 2010 Holiday Tips segments (with any luck); I hope you enjoyed them and are able to put them to good use in your own preparations for the season.  May your holidays be full of blessings and stress-free gatherings with loved ones!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just being real...

I was feeling a bit like this raven lunatic at times today, but I learned a few things, and that's always good. I thought I would share them with you, to possibly save you a little time and trouble.  I'm always wanting to help, you know.  Maybe you already know some of them, but just in case, here are a few of my learnings and (mostly) holiday tips:
  1. If your mood is already 'iffy', going through the garage and pulling out all the holiday decorations is not going to help improve it.  Seriously.
  2. If somebody (a grown son, let's say) offers to put up the outdoor lights, don't assume that just because he's an engineer, he'll actually think through where the cords will be plugged in.  You might just find yourself having to plug them in in three different places (one being the dark corner of the garage that requires the use of a flashlight); with a long extension cord hanging down the side of the house from the 2nd floor; and another thick cord coming in through a window on the 2nd floor so that you can't close it.  It could happen.
  3. Before you go meandering through the neighborhood because there's a break in the rainy weather, turn off the homemade soup that's heating on the stove.
  4. If something has not been displayed in years, count on it taking ten times longer to set up than it should.  (For example, a German wooden pyramid purchased 30 years ago when living in Hamburg.)  By the time you dust it using Q-tips to get in the tiny spaces, glue together the loose candle holders, take it apart to figure out why it's not spinning smoothly, put it back together again, glue loose candle holders together again and again and again, then finally get it going, you'll have lost a couple of hours and it'll be dark outside.                                 
  5. It's a mathematical certainty that 80% of the glues you own are dried up (this isn't so much a tip, more like a fact.)  Count on it.                                    
  6. Do not expect the cute little kitty to be as excited about the reindeer kitty hat as you are.
  7. Always keep tissue handy for when in case kitty draws blood.
But the best tip of all?  When your frustration level reaches a peak, a good old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich will change everything!  True!

Of course, it'll all be worth it when the grand-girlies lay their eyes on the magical twirling pyramid (just so long as we keep cute kitty's tail away from the flames).  Ahh, note to self:  keep the fire extinguisher within easy reach...