Monday, December 20, 2010

Slightly demented Christmas decorations

Christmas is a time of traditions, of course, and teenagers and pre-teens hold onto those traditions at least as tightly as the rest of us. I suppose it's partly nostalgia on their part, but also the alluring excuse to be completely childish. Still, some things change.


Case in point #1: the Playmobil advent calendar, used over and over for many years. This year, though, the girl-child is found hanging upside down from the garland. The boy-child has enacted a spell (or perhaps some violence) upon the kittens, overturning the cat basket on them in the process. The cat is roasting in the fire. The mom-person is partying at the top of the Christmas tree, holding a bottle of wine and taking a swig from a beer stein. For the record the wine and beer did not come from the advent calendar; they were misappropriated from the medieval castle set.


Case in point #2: The fetching gingerbread house, nicely decorated with all sorts of features and decorations, including a snowman of toffee bonbons, a tree covered in M&Ms and cola balls, translucent window glass, and a bonfire around back. But off to the left a doghouse for the family pet, a starfish named "Mu" with a penchant for exercise balls. Mu is lying in a pool of blood but seems quite content. What has happened here? "It's a mystery!" I'm told. A crime scene, perhaps? 

13 comments:

  1. Hysterical. I laughed out loud, to the amusement of my hubby and children. Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. Anonymous8:39 p.m.

    Hey thats funny Miranda, We have the exact playmobil advent calendar minus a few pieces that are missing. Part of the fireplace is in the nether regions of the couch courtesy of a friends three year old at the time and well the camera migrated to another playmobil set never to be seen again.
    Alas we didn't pull it out this year, but I think I will make a point to next year.

    Merry Christmas to your family, hope you have a beautiful christmas in the valley.
    cheers
    Ann

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  3. That sounds like rebellion to me.. or at least the things memories are made of! Merry Christmas Miranda:)

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  4. Thanks for the Christmas laugh!

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  5. Anonymous7:08 p.m.

    Love the gingerbread house crime scene! Too funny!

    I let my kids go town on the gingerbread house every year, this year they created a hot tub (with tiny gingerbread men/women lounging in blue icing water) and a jube-jube santa poking out of the chimney. It stands very crooked, I was worried it was going to fall over for a bit there, but the royal icing seemed to hold.

    What's making the shingles on the roof of yours? Are those Shreddies?

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  6. Yes, Shreddies. Diamond shreddies, actually. It was very time-consuming to rotate each one 45 degrees before placing it. The kids complained to no end. My bad for buying the wrong type.

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  7. Anonymous4:32 p.m.

    Well, next year, remember to buy the right Shreddies, darn it! Save yourself some time!

    One more question...my 9yo daughter is standing behind me excitedly, wanting to know how you constructed the Christmas tree. Can you share? Or is it a treasured family secret?

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  8. Oh, yes! We're proud of the tree. We just cut out a bunch of stars of varying sizes from left-over dough. The biggest ones were probably 7-pointed, the smallest ones just 3 or 4 points. Probably twelve or fourteen in all, none of them particularly regular or precise. (Mu the starfish is a left-over star.) Then we baked them and stacked them, gluing with icing, painted with green icing, drizzling on white, etc. Really easy!

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  9. Anonymous10:12 a.m.

    Hi Miranda and Family,

    Wishing you blessed Christmas and Jesus' blessings and peace in the New Year. My prayer is that your family will know the saving grace of Jesus, where everyone knows in your family the saving blood of Jesus. He came in this world to die for each of us!
    Wishing you eternal joy and peace,

    Sara

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  10. My name is also Miranda. I also unschool my kids (but they're not even school-age yet). I think I read that you and your husband are both doctors? I planned on being a doctor before my husband convinced me to be a SAHM. You are my Canadian other! Or I'm your American other.

    Just want to say you rock, and I've enjoyed reading your blog. Merry Christmas!

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  11. Anonymous8:52 a.m.

    Thanks for the Christmas tree tips. Now we've got all sorts of ideas for next year.

    Historically, we've used a cast iron gingerbread house mold that I got here:

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/gifts/page.aspx?p=43793&cat=4,104,53214,43793

    which makes it really easy for little hands to assemble, and still end up with something nice. But now that the kids are older, you've inspired us...maybe next year we'll cut out the pieces. We'll see how ambitious we are next year!

    Building the gingerbread house is one of those Christmas things my kids really look forward to every year. What's not to enjoy, really? Love to bake [check]; eat raw cookie dough [check]; buying and sampling lots of candies [check]; licking icing from your fingers [check]; being given free reign to decorate as you see fit [check]; spending time with mommy [check].

    Good memories!

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  12. Wonderful! We have it the other way round: a traditional Nativity scene, that gained genuine Israeli camels that my parents brought back from the Holy Land, a playmobil camel, several playmobil sheep, and two wooden carved hippos.

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